The 2020 race for the White House began in earnest Friday when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) hosted multiple campaign rallies in Iowa, the first in the nation caucus state.
On Saturday morning, Warren continued her campaign across the state, but was asked about her infamous DNA test during a Sioux City stop.
“Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald Trump more fodder to be a bully?” one Iowan in attendance asked Warren, who said she was “glad” the question was asked.
“I genuinely am, and I’m glad for us to have a chance to talk about it. I am not a person of color. I am 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,” Warren acknowledged.
“I’m just gonna put it all out there.”
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) January 5, 2019
She explained that while growing up in Oklahoma she heard “the family stories of our ancestry,” and said that her claim to Native American ancestry was used against her when she first ran for office.
“When I first ran for public office, the first time was in 2012, and the Republicans honed 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. So my decision was: I’m just going to put it all out there,” she said, noting that her “hiring records, including a DNA test” are “out there.”
“It’s online, anybody can look at it. It’s there. Now I can’t stop Donald Trump from what he’s going to do. I can’t stop him from hurling racial insults. I don’t have any power to do that,” she continued.
The debate surrounding Warren’s ancestry intensified last year, and questions were raised as to whether she used her claimed Native American ancestry to obtain a teaching position at Harvard Law School. In October, she decided to release the results of a DNA test that showed she had an indigenous ancestor “in the range of 6-10 generations ago,” meaning she was anywhere between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American.
The DNA test reignited the debate, and on Thursday President Donald Trump tweeted a mock campaign sign for Warren with a slogan of “1/2020th.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2019
On New Year’s Eve, Warren announced that she was launching an exploratory committee for president, and was the first major declared candidate to visit Iowa.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “Elizabeth Warren in Iowa” by Elizabeth Warren.