We need to “clean up Washington,” shouted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on a cold Saturday afternoon to an enthusiastic crowd gathered in Lawrence, Massachusetts, as she announced her campaign intentions for 2020.
She pointedly said of President Donald Trump, “The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken. He is just the latest and most extreme symptom of what’s gone wrong in America — a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else. So once he’s gone, we can’t pretend that none of this ever happened.”
As supporters cheered and clapped, she also said on Saturday, “I’m opting out … I’m not taking a dime of PAC money in this campaign … There’s more. I’m not taking a single check from a federal lobbyist. I’m not taking applications from billionaires who want to run a super PAC on my behalf.”
“And I challenge every other candidate who asks for your vote in this primary to say exactly the same thing.”
“Real democracy requires equal justice under law … We need reform,” she added as supporters chanted, “Democracy!” in the background.
“We must not allow those with power to weaponize hatred and bigotry to divide us,” said Warren, who is 69, adding later, “Bigotry has no place in the Oval Office.”
“Today, today, we come together ready to raise our voices together until this fight is won … Our movement won’t be divided by our differences. It will be united by the values we share.”
“We all want a country where everyone, not just the wealthy, can take care of their families … where everyone can participate in democracy, where every child can dream big and reach for real opportunity … to build an America that works for everyone.”
She also said, “Get ready. Because change is coming faster than you think.”
Then she proceeded to tell a personal story about how, in the nick of time before she started law school, she was able to find child care with just days to go — and to train her young daughter, then two years old, to be “dependably potty-trained” before she began school.
Sounding very much like a single mother, Warren highlighted this as a major achievement — as her supporters smiled and laughed — and insisted that if she could do something like this, then anything is possible.
Her first husband, Jim Warren — to whom she was married during the period she described, from 1968 to 1978, and with whom she has two children — worked as NASA mathematician.
While they were married, she began her law studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey, earning her law degree in 1976. After their divorce in 1978, she married Bruce Mann, a Harvard University law professor, in 1980.
President Trump had something to say about her announcement on Saturday:
Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2019
Warren’s 2020 announcement on Saturday follows a week in which she’s taken major heat after a form years ago for the Texas bar came to light.
On that form, she listed herself as an “American Indian” in her handwriting — and even after she apologized, she’s faced strong criticism for it.
The Boston Globe, in an editorial, ripped into her ahead of her announcement on Saturday, saying, in part: “Voters ready to forgive and move on might feel differently if the slow drip continues, or if her explanations don’t hold up. She should have put all this to rest years ago when it first came up in her 2012 Senate campaign against Scott Brown. This go-around, Warren needs to deal with the issue now, rather than in October 2020.”
“And oh, there’s one more thing and it’s unbelievable Warren hasn’t done it yet: Deliver an honest apology publicly.”
“The information on the Texas bar registration card was collected for statistical purposes, and there’s no indication it was shared with anyone. If it was all a scheme to further her career, then Warren’s not very good at scheming.”
“Still, much of the political damage is already done, and Warren’s never going to silence critics like President Trump, who gleefully taunts her in racist language,” The Globe went on. “Warren took and released a DNA test last fall confirming she has some ancestry dating six to 10 generations ago, but that did little to defuse Trump. And among white voters who resent affirmative action, the issue is probably going to be a lasting political liability.”
“But many Americans are still making up their minds about Warren. And she shouldn’t presume that the scrutiny of her past is going to end as she formally launches her presidential campaign.”
Check out this video: