‘I am not a person of color’: Elizabeth Warren defends decision to take a DNA test to prove Native American ancestry as Massachusetts Senator gears up for presidential run
- Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is in Iowa to meet with voters
- Last week she announced she was forming an exploratory committee
- Warren is preparing to officially announce a run for President
- She was asked about her taking a DNA test to prove Native American ancestry
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on Saturday defended her decision to take a DNA test to prove Native American ancestry, though she insisted that ‘I am not a person of color.’
‘I am not a citizen of a tribe,’ Warren told voters in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday.
‘Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry.
‘Tribes – and only tribes – determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference.’
President Donald Trump and other Republicans have criticized Warren for her past claims of having Native American ancestry.
Trump has taunted Warren over her lineage, derisively calling her ‘Pocahontas’ during campaign stops and public rallies.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on Saturday defended her decision to take a DNA test to prove Native American ancestry, though she insisted that ‘I am not a person of color.’ ‘I am not a citizen of a tribe,’ Warren told voters in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday
Last week, Warren announced she was launching an exploratory committee, the first step in seeking a party’s nomination for president
Before the midterm elections, Warren sought to put the issue to rest by having a DNA test performed on her.
The test the Democratic senator released in October found that she’s between 1/64 and 1/1024 American Indian.
The move backfired on Warren, who was criticized for badly miscalculating.
Last week, Warren announced she was launching an exploratory committee, the first step in seeking a party’s nomination for president.
During an exchange with voters in Iowa, she was asked about the DNA test.
Warren said that she initially claimed Native American ancestry because she grew up in Oklahoma, where many people trace their roots to indigenous cultures.
‘My decision was to put it all out there,’ Warren said.
She was then asked about Trump’s attacks and how he could use the issue against Warren if she wins the Democratic nomination next year.
‘I can’t stop Donald Trump from what he’s going to do,’ Warren said.
‘I can’t stop him from hurling racial insults. I don’t have any power to do that.’
Donald Trump needled Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday for claiming she is of Native American heritage
‘Yes, you can!’ an audience member said in response.
Warren responded: ‘What I can do is I can be in this fight for all of our families.
‘What I think 2020 is going to be about is not my family, it’s about the tens of millions of families across this country who just want a level playing field.’
Trump needled Warren again on Thursday for claiming she is of Native American heritage.
He shared a parody ‘Warren 2020’ sign that said ‘Warren 1/2020th’ on his Twitter account.
Warren is working hard to overcome the misstep before other possible challengers make up their minds about entering the 2020 race.
Already, she has competition from ex-San Antonio mayor Julián Castro, who is teasing a ‘special announcement’ next weekend in his hometown. He formed his exploratory committee last month.
The Associated Press reports that Warren has already hired Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 caucus manager in Iowa, Brendan Summers, for her unannounced bid for president.
Iowa’s caucuses will not be held for another 13 months in February of 2020. The first Democratic presidential debate is this June, however.