Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Elizabeth Warren in Iowa: 'I am not a person of color'

Elizabeth Warren makes big move toward 2020 presidential run Elizabeth Warren hosts Organizing Event at McCoy's Bar Patio and Grill in Council Bluffs, Iowa
Leonard Rios | 07 January, 2019, 06:45

ASMA KHALID, BYLINE: Elizabeth Warren has one central message for voters. But another voter in the crowd, Leif Erickson, is not so sure she is.

KHALID: Well, I would say if you were to drill down Sen.

In a gaggle with reporters at her Council Bluffs rally on Friday, she bypassed a question about the comparisons being drawn between her campaign and Hillary Clinton's four years ago.

That fight, of course, also involves President Trump, whom Warren notably made a point not to name during her stops in Iowa, unless prompted by a member of the audience. And so she's been talking a lot more about her childhood in Oklahoma, how her dad had a heart attack.

Known for her ability to rouse crowds with her takedowns of Wall Street and Trump, Warren promised to "persist". "Today, a minimum wage job in America will not keep a momma and a baby out of poverty".

Warren added, "What I can do is I can be in this fight for all of our families".

KHALID: And, Michel, really that is kind of the crux that we've been hearing from her in Iowa. She wants "to strengthen our unions, our workers and our consumers" while breaking the hold of an "army of lobbyists" occupying the capital, as she describes it, under the banners of "big corporations".

Joe Rospars, who led former President Obama's digital strategy in both 2008 and 2012, has joined Warren's newly launched presidential exploratory committee in a senior capacity, according to two sources familiar with staffing.

Having recently named a team of seasoned Iowa campaign hands, Warren took the stage in the bowling alley bar to a typical campaign soundtrack of pop and classic hits.

Trump needled Warren again on Thursday for claiming she is of Native American heritage.

Trump promised that, if he were to ever debate Warren in a general election, he'd give a million dollars to charity if Warren would take a test to prove her heritage.

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But late past year despite saying she did not want to make a third run for the White House, she also added "I'd like to be president".

Neither woman had heard about the "likability" flap, though Wertz smilingly proclaimed Warren "a very likable person".

Warren has addressed the backlash to her DNA test before, using similar language, but this - the first question on her first full day of campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in Iowa - underscored the lingering concerns over her decision. "I am not a citizen of a tribe".

'Tribes - and only tribes - determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference'.

"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong", Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr said at the time, accusing Warren of "undermining tribal interests". The president has repeatedly referred to her as "Pocahontas", which many believe amounts to a racial slur. And I don't think she would let him do that. But was this an unusual approach for her?

"It's definitely much sooner this time", Pat Rynard said of candidates who have already declared their intention to run.

"I just want to know whoever we nominate is strong".

MARTIN: We only have a couple of seconds left, though.

She unveiled a raft of staff hires last week. "But I have had a chance to talk about Medicaid, partly because I think we've had a national conversation about health care, and I think it's been enormously valuable".

Iowa is also a place where people watching agricultural commodities such as soybeans and hogs fall under President Trump's tariffs may take a shine to Warren's trademark message of economic populism.

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