Watch live coverage as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-M.A.) makes an announcement in Lawrence, Mass., before embarking on a multistate campaign swing.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren officially jumped into the 2020 presidential race Saturday, joining a crowded field of Democratic challengers as she faces fresh criticism over her claims of Native American heritage. "This is the fight of our lives. The fight to build an America where dreams are possible, an America that works for everyone," Warren said. "And that is why I stand here today: to declare that I am a candidate for President of the United States of America."
During her rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, she also received some high-profile endorsements from several lawmakers, including Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Sen. Ed Markey, both key Democrats from Massachusetts. "No one knows how to fight for what is right better than Elizabeth Warren," Markey said. "No one knows how to get under Donald Trump's skin better than Elizabeth Warren."
She touted her support for progressive politics, including increasing the minimum wage and Medicare for All. She propped up embracing diversity and the immigrants who helped build the nation, all with a backdrop of Everett Mills, the site of a workers strike 100 years ago led by women and immigrants that boosted workers rights. She told the story of the strikes, using it as an example that even those without power can work together to shape policy and change America.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who officially announced her presidential bid on Saturday, spoke to the National Indian Women’s “Supporting Each Other” luncheon on Tuesday, urging congressional action on a set of issues affecting the community.
According to prepared remarks provided to The Daily Beast, Warren was introduced and praised by Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), one of the two first Native-American women to serve in Congress. In her speech, the senator listed a number of legislative priorities related to the Native-American community.
“The alarming number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls continues to grow,” she said in the speech, which was first reported by HuffPost. “But Congress failed to pass legislation to address this epidemic.” Warren also urged action on rising suicide rates among Native people, as well as housing, health-care, and drug-addiction issues. She called for “enforcing our federal government’s trust and treaty responsibilities to beating back the assault on the Indian Child Welfare Act.”
Warren’s address came after she apologized to the Cherokee Nation for releasing a DNA test attempting to prove her Native American ancestry and for a Washington Post report that found she identified her race as “American Indian” on a Texas state bar form in 1986.
Warren spoke at the National Indian Women's "Supporting Each Other" lunch, where she introduced Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, the chairwoman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah in Massachusetts, HuffPost first reported. The luncheon took place during an annual meeting of the National Congress of American Indians.
In her speech, Warren praised Native American women, specifically Reps. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) — the first two Native women elected to Congress. The progressive lawmaker, who reportedly received a standing ovation from tribal leaders and other Native attendees as she approached the stage, detailed several legislative priorities related to the Native American community.
"The alarming number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls continues to grow," she said, according to The Daily Beast. "But Congress failed to pass legislation to address this epidemic."
At worst, Warren may have stretched the bounds of the definition of whiteness. That’s understandable. She grew up in Oklahoma, a state created from Indian Territory. She probably witnessed the disrespect and occasional brutality that Native Americans were, and still are, subject to. Her own genetic test showed at least one Native American ancestor. She has stressed that she is not a member of a tribal nation.
Warren didn’t call Mexicans rapists. She didn’t call nations populated primarily by black or brown people “shitholes.” She didn’t assume all Muslims are terrorists. She didn’t characterize black neighborhoods as war zones. She didn’t assert that an American president was born in Africa. She has not sexually assaulted anyone. She has not paid hush money to prostitutes. She hasn’t insulted Native Americans by calling a leading politician “Pocahontas” and joking about the Trail of Tears in the 1830s.
Warren got no career benefit from her self-designation. At every step of her exceptional rise in the legal profession, those responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman. The fact that she claimed Indian descent on a Texas bar form that was meant to be confidential is further evidence that her identification arose from sincere belief.
In a larger sense, our Native American heritage should be a point of national pride. Bill Clinton proudly claimed in 1998 that his grandmother was “one-quarter Cherokee.” I remember former Republican Senator Alan Simpson beaming proudly as he showed me an old family reunion photo in which several of the eldest attendees were Native Americans.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren touted her 2020 campaign’s vision and message, weighed-in on other Democratic presidential hopefuls in the race and took advice from rapper 50 Cent as she stopped by “The Late Late Show with James Corden” Tuesday.
The Massachusetts Democrat, who joined rapper Curtis James Jackson III -- known as 50 Cent -- for a segment on the late night show, told host James Corden that she’s excited about the growing number of Democrats in the 2020 White House field.