Elizabeth Warren, US Democratic senator, announces 2020 presidential bid



February 10, 2019 09:19:33

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, struggling to move past criticism over her claims of Native American heritage, aimed for a fresh start on Saturday (local time) with the formal launch of her 2020 presidential campaign, saying that she is fighting for all Americans.

Key points:

  • An unprecedented four female candidates, so far, are vying for the Democratic nomination
  • Ms Warren has been dogged by a Native American ancestry controversy
  • Mr Trump’s campaign said the American people would reject her “dishonest campaign”

The Massachusetts Democrat, a leader of the party’s progressive wing, made her announcement from a historic site in Lawrence, north-west of Boston, that launched the US organised labour movement.

Ms Warren, 69, has made worker rights, fair wages and access to healthcare central to her campaign.

“This is the fight of our lives. The fight to build an America where dreams are possible, an America that works for everyone,” Ms 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.”

Ms Warren is part of an increasingly crowded and diverse field of Democrats vying for the chance to challenge President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee.

Simultaneously with her launch, Ms Warren picked up the endorsement of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) — a group that could pump millions of dollars behind her candidacy and provide an outside attack dog against her Democratic opponents.

“We believe that Elizabeth Warren is the most electable Democrat and the best person to be president to defeat Trump,” Adam Green, the co-founder of PCCC, said.

Ms Warren’s heritage claims have dogged her since her first campaign for the Senate in 2012, and Mr Trump mockingly refers to her as “Pocahontas”.

Her ancestry drew fresh scrutiny earlier this week with the discovery that she described her race as American Indian on a form to join the Texas legal bar in the 1980s.

Ms Warren has repeatedly apologised, saying the claim was based on “family lore” and she now understands tribal sovereignty dictates membership.

Mr Trump’s campaign described Ms Warren as a “fraud”.

“The American people will reject her dishonest campaign,” a statement from his campaign manager Brad Parscale said.

In addition to being a fierce critic of Mr Trump, Ms Warren is an outspoken critic of Wall Street who gained national notoriety for her efforts to create the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate large banks.

She is one of four women so far seeking the Democratic nomination, an unprecedented number of female candidates vying to lead a country that has never had a woman chief executive.

“I like her anger,” said Christiane Alsop, who has donated to Ms Warren’s previous campaigns and is backing her presidential bid.

“I like her fighting spirit.”

Ms Warren heads next to Iowa, where fellow Democratic contenders US senator Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, campaigned on Friday (local time).

“I am running for president right now because I believe Americans have surrendered to cynicism,” Mr Booker said.

“I want to see a revival of civic grace.”






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