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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.

Confirmed Cases: 35712

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10037594
Lake3806202
Allen174371
Cass15927
Elkhart143529
St. Joseph132035
Hamilton118094
Hendricks118074
Johnson1120110
Madison59761
Porter55329
Clark52841
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Howard43734
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Shelby39822
Jackson3942
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Vanderburgh2902
Morgan28324
Noble25121
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Grant22123
Dubois2053
Harrison19622
Henry18412
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Greene17125
Dearborn17021
Monroe17012
Warrick16728
Kosciusko1661
Lawrence16524
Marshall1472
Miami1411
Putnam1377
Orange13122
Jennings1314
Scott1223
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Carroll933
Steuben872
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Jefferson471
Whitley443
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Perry340
Huntington342
Brown331
Benton320
Wells320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams201
Gibson182
Parke180
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin120
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0175

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36792

Reported Deaths: 2300
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6112290
Cuyahoga4669247
Hamilton2739164
Marion267931
Lucas2296256
Pickaway209537
Summit1487181
Mahoning1463188
Butler93333
Columbiana88952
Stark75299
Lorain70960
Montgomery69516
Trumbull58451
Belmont43914
Warren39021
Medina36623
Miami36230
Tuscarawas3604
Ashtabula34537
Delaware34414
Portage33257
Lake31812
Fairfield3108
Clark3067
Wood30348
Geauga29533
Wayne28851
Licking26510
Mercer2207
Clermont2165
Allen21433
Richland2093
Darke18423
Erie18216
Madison1627
Washington11819
Crawford1174
Morrow1071
Ottawa10217
Greene1025
Putnam9514
Sandusky8512
Monroe7914
Auglaize763
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Hardin640
Huron601
Williams561
Union551
Muskingum521
Hancock511
Shelby463
Holmes463
Clinton451
Fulton450
Wyandot442
Coshocton400
Logan400
Fayette400
Preble391
Guernsey362
Defiance342
Carroll313
Brown301
Lawrence300
Champaign281
Highland261
Knox251
Seneca242
Vinton212
Ashland210
Perry191
Athens181
Henry170
Scioto170
Paulding140
Jackson140
Adams101
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Noble60
Meigs60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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