The Surprising Reason Conservatives are Praising Elizabeth Warren Right Now

Fans of far-right political commentator found Ann Coulter an unlikely ally this week — progressive Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. 

During a far-ranging conversation with "The Lead" host Jake Tapper on Monday, Warren shared what some considered a surprising point of view about Coulter’s debated appearance at the University of California, Berkeley.

Responding to the ongoing drama surrounding conservative speakers at Berkeley, Warren voiced support of Coulter’s right to free speech. She also suggested critics of Coulter who are worried about her spreading hate speech should focus on other things.

“Ann Coulter has just gotten a much bigger platform because someone tried to deny her a chance to speak,” the Massachusetts Senator said. “My view is let her speak and just don’t show up. If you don’t like it, don’t show up.”

The Senator’s support of Coulter’s right to free speech has attracted fans with differing beliefs from her.

Warren’s thoughts follow another Democratic defender of Coulter's right to speak: Bernie Sanders.

“Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous,” Sanders told HuffPost last week. “But you know, people have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.”

There is a fine line between supporting free speech and supporting hate speech though.

Coulter's statements are indeed "outrageous," and at times outright hateful. She's opined about the "acceptance" of rape in Latino culture, mocked transgender people, and claimed that Mexicans are more dangerous than terrorists. 

An earlier debate arose in Berkeley after alt-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at the school, with students and administrators fearing he’d share the openly hateful speech he’s become known for. For example, during a speaking event at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in December of 2016, Yiannopoulos projected the face of a transgender student onto a large screen, while repeatedly misgendering and mocking her.  

As a result, his scheduled speech at Berkeley in February inspired peaceful-turned-violent protests, which led to a last minute canceling of the event.