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Sen. Elizabeth Warren is running for president, vowing to take on corporations, banks and, in some cases, the federal government itself.
On New Year’s Eve in 2018, Warren, D-Massachusetts, announced that she had formed an exploratory committee to evaluate a run for president, becoming the highest-profile Democratic 2020 contender to do so.
Warren expressed her intentions to stand up for middle-class values and against abuses by corporate America in a video released by her campaign.
“America’s middle class is under attack,” Warren said in the video. “How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie, and they enlisted politicians to cut ’em a fatter slice.”
While Warren’s campaign launched on New Year’s Eve with the polished video, an email blast and the image of her and her husband waving from the couple’s front yard, a misstep last fall could prove a persistent thorn in her side as the race gets heated in the months ahead.
Warren, dogged by allegations she falsely claimed to be of Native American ancestry, released the results of a DNA test she said she took in an attempt to prove her claims.
The release of the results – which showed Warren had a Native American ancestor from six to 10 generations back – was seen by many as a political miscalculation that will only end up giving her opponents ammunition against her in a future campaign.
She was also seen as giving in to taunts by Trump, who nicknamed the Massachusetts senator “Pocahontas.”
The issue arose when Warren first ran for the Senate and it was discovered that she had put herself on the Minority Law Teacher list as Native American in the faculty directory of the Association of American Law Schools while she was at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and that Harvard Law School had identified Warren as a Native American faculty member.
Warren was asked about the results of the DNA test during a recent visit to Iowa. She told the questioner that while she was not an official citizen of a tribe, she believed the story of her heritage she grew up hearing from family members and didn’t regret taking the DNA test and releasing the results.
“I am not a person of color. I’m not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes and only tribes determine tribal citizenship and I respect that difference. I grew up in Oklahoma and like a lot of folks in Oklahoma, we heard the family stories of our ancestry,” Warren said.
“When I first ran for public office, the first time was in 2012 and the Republicans homed in on this part of my history and thought they could make a lot of hay out of it, a lot of racial slurs and a lot of ugly stuff that went on,” she said. “And so my decision was, we’re just going to put it all out there.”
Here are a few things you may not have known about Warren:
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