Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced Monday that she is taking formal steps to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.
The Federal Election Commission filing allows Warren to create an exploratory committee to consider a 2020 campaign. That move allows her to take leftover cash from her 2018 Senate re-election campaign and use it toward a presidential run, NBC reported.
Warren is the first of what are expected to be numerous Democratic candidates to take this step. Fellow Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey have been making visits to early primary states.
Democratic Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas has said he will make a decision about the race in January. O’Rourke attracted widespread national attention in his November loss to incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who tops most polls of potential Democratic candidates, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who challenged former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the 2016 nomination, are also major names in a field that can range from 10 to 25 candidates, depending on who makes the list.
Polling that has been done to date shows Warren usually in receiving single-digit support while Biden, O’Rourke and Sanders usually trend toward the top.
Her announcement drew some mockery from conservative critics.
Huge day for Native Americans everywhere. https://t.co/iTFELFDWBi
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 31, 2018
Warren called her campaign a battle against the “dark path” of special interests and said she would fight political corruption that “is poisoning our democracy.”
“Our government is supposed to work for all of us, but instead, it has become a tool for the wealthy and well-connected,” she said in a video announcing her the exploratory committee. “If we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together, we can win.”
“America’s middle class is under attack,” she added in the video. “How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie, and they enlisted politicians to cut ’em a fatter slice.”
Warren is a rabid critic of President Donald Trump, who has called Warren “Pohahontas” in reference to Warren’s claim to be descended from an ancestor who was part Cherokee.
Warren released a DNA test that said it is possible she has a Cherokee ancestor, but that only brought controversy upon her.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said Warren had undermined “tribal interests.”
“Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong,” Hoskin said in a statement, according to CNN.
@SenWarren was outwitted by @realDonaldTrump on the #Pocahontas taunt with her DNA test. She came off looking foolish and offending many Native Americans by claiming Cherokee heritage. And she still didn’t apologize for being a #boxchecker. I don’t think she could beat Trump.
— 🌍Jenna🌏Nand🌎 (@JothikaN) December 31, 2018
Last month, the Boston Globe, Warren’s hometown newspaper, suggested in an editorial that Warren should sit out the 2020 campaign.
“Warren missed her moment in 2016, and there’s reason to be skeptical of her prospective candidacy in 2020. While Warren won re-election, her margin of victory in November suggests there’s a ceiling on her popularity,” the Globe wrote in an editorial, noting that other candidates appear to have more enthusiasm behind them than does Warren.
“While Warren is an effective and impactful senator with an important voice nationally, she has become a divisive figure. A unifying voice is what the country needs now after the polarizing politics of Donald Trump,” the Globe wrote.
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