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Warren: I'm in this fight because I'm grateful

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) delivered her first live pitch to presidential primary voters in Iowa with a signature and searing indictment of the powerful interests she blames for corrupting government and decimating the American working class.

Posted: Jan 7, 2019 12:28 AM
Updated: Jan 7, 2019 12:46 AM

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."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 56560

Reported Deaths: 1656
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18009819
Ramsey6944261
Dakota3991103
Anoka3365113
Stearns283120
Washington191743
Nobles17466
Olmsted162923
Scott139014
Mower10812
Rice9998
Blue Earth8525
Wright8135
Carver7792
Clay74540
Kandiyohi6761
Sherburne6497
St. Louis43619
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3541
Steele3301
Nicollet31213
Benton3063
Watonwan2980
Winona24716
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2011
Beltrami1930
Chisago1791
Goodhue1768
Otter Tail1763
Cottonwood1710
Becker1431
Pipestone1439
Unassigned14040
McLeod1380
Itasca13212
Polk1313
Douglas1300
Waseca1280
Pine1270
Carlton1250
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa981
Brown852
Faribault830
Meeker832
Morrison831
Wabasha810
Sibley792
Koochiching743
Rock740
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Jackson700
Mille Lacs653
Fillmore610
Renville595
Cass582
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant491
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope430
Houston390
Norman340
Redwood300
Kanabec291
Hubbard280
Marshall280
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen231
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Clearwater150
Stevens150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson40
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45774

Reported Deaths: 883
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9723203
Woodbury365151
Black Hawk300362
Linn210887
Johnson193315
Dallas178935
Buena Vista178512
Scott159312
Dubuque153729
Marshall138924
Pottawattamie121723
Story110914
Wapello84932
Muscatine82648
Webster7255
Crawford7193
Sioux5952
Cerro Gordo57617
Tama53729
Warren5281
Jasper45524
Plymouth4438
Wright4431
Louisa37914
Dickinson3754
Clinton3173
Washington28710
Hamilton2411
Boone2282
Franklin2205
Bremer1877
Clarke1863
Carroll1811
Emmet1791
Clay1711
Hardin1650
Shelby1611
Marion1530
Allamakee1514
Poweshiek1468
Benton1431
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1292
Guthrie1265
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1142
Henry1133
Pocahontas1131
Buchanan1111
Lyon1020
Madison1022
Clayton983
Cherokee971
Harrison970
Lee953
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware901
Monona900
Iowa891
Winneshiek851
Calhoun822
Mills820
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto790
Kossuth780
Jefferson770
Osceola770
Mitchell760
Page760
Winnebago760
Grundy741
Union701
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Cass481
Davis481
Howard480
Lucas454
Montgomery433
Appanoose423
Greene380
Fremont350
Van Buren321
Keokuk301
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
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Wayne161
Unassigned80
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