Sen. Warren makes Iowa debut after announcing 2020 exploratory committee

Sen. Elizabeth Warren makes a three-day stop in Iowa to meet with voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

Posted: Jan 5, 2019 3:30 PM
Updated: Jan 5, 2019 3:44 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was confronted by a voter in Sioux City on Saturday morning over her controversial decision to use a DNA test to prove her claims to Native American ancestry.

"I am not a person of color," the Massachusetts Democrat said. "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 has addressed the backlash to her DNA test before, using similar language, but this -- the first question on her first full day of campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in Iowa -- underscored the lingering concerns over her decision.

The logic behind it, Warren explained, was simple. She grew up in Oklahoma, and like so many others in that region of the country, had been told of her family's Native American roots. The controversy traces back years, and more than one election, she said, recalling that her claim had been used against her by Republicans during her successful 2012 Senate campaign.

"My decision was to put it all out there," Warren said of the final calculation this time around.

The questioner, though, seemed less concerned about the offense the test caused to some Native Americans than its potential to fuel President Donald Trump's attacks.

"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," she added as an audience member yelled out, "Yes, you can!"

At that, Warren pivoted back to her campaign message, saying: "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."

Warren emerged as a leading critic of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, and he has responded -- repeatedly and throughout his presidency -- by mocking her Native American heritage and referring to her as "Pocahontas." But her choice to effectively engage the criticism from the President and others in October with a DNA test irked many Democrats and overshadowed her midterm message. (Warren would still win election to a second term in the Senate by nearly 25 percentage points.)

In an interview with Fox News after she announced her presidential exploratory committee earlier this week, Trump skewered Warren over the test and said he would "love to run against her."

Asked if he thought Warren believed she could defeat him in 2020, Trump said, "I don't know. You would have to ask her psychiatrist."

Before Warren spoke Saturday in Iowa, Judy Plank, a Democrat who had driven down from Le Mars, about a half-hour north, said she was concerned Warren had, in publicizing the results, set herself up for further ridicule from the President.

"It's just playing into his hands," Plank said. "It's getting onto his turf, and he knows how to handle his turf. And so I'm not sure she should have gotten into it, but anyway I hope she learned from it."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
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Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
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Madison10561212
Vigo10483171
Clark10240130
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Bartholomew626694
Floyd6150105
Wayne5933157
Grant5818110
Dubois544372
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Morgan516291
Marshall494184
Henry493664
Cass471760
Noble460557
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Jackson414745
Shelby402179
Lawrence380575
Clinton364539
Gibson356556
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Knox327839
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Brown85530
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Martin70013
Warren6587
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Union6113
Ohio4677
Unassigned0374

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 826754

Reported Deaths: 10200
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97493705
Cuyahoga821781012
Hamilton61350439
Montgomery41700399
Summit33399726
Lucas30111597
Butler29721228
Stark24811400
Warren18917139
Lorain18086212
Mahoning16758335
Lake15365135
Clermont15160104
Delaware1382177
Licking12679132
Trumbull12401302
Fairfield1218480
Greene11631133
Medina11128165
Clark10608264
Wood9964154
Allen9511126
Portage8867105
Miami886573
Richland8790116
Marion7319113
Tuscarawas7142174
Columbiana7085124
Pickaway702850
Wayne6781164
Muskingum671242
Erie5886118
Hancock537890
Ross530287
Scioto519662
Geauga483555
Darke457589
Ashtabula439068
Lawrence432651
Union430628
Mercer424287
Sandusky421862
Seneca413555
Auglaize412759
Huron410338
Shelby410221
Jefferson403366
Belmont395640
Washington372040
Putnam364672
Athens36369
Madison339329
Knox336522
Ashland331738
Fulton325943
Defiance319278
Crawford313268
Preble311534
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Clinton279043
Williams270166
Highland262418
Jackson256943
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Morrow22294
Perry221318
Holmes218662
Henry210247
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Van Wert196644
Gallia190926
Wyandot190549
Adams165615
Pike164116
Hocking163423
Carroll149516
Paulding139021
Noble117840
Meigs103221
Monroe95629
Harrison8568
Morgan79128
Vinton67113
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