Warren stumps in N.H. after officially launching White House run in Mass.

  • Elizabeth Warren takes pictures with supporters following a rally at Dover City Hall on Saturday. Paul Steinhauser / For the Monitor

  • Elizabeth Warren speaks to a packed crowd at Dover City Hall after officially launching her bid for the presidency in Lawrence, Mass., on Saturday. Paul Steinhauser / For the Monitor

  • Supporters cheer for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as she speaks during an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., arrives with her husband, Bruce, and their dog Bailey for an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at Everett Mills in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pats her heart as she speaks at an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is hugged by U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III after he introduced her during an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., acknowledges cheers as she takes the stage during an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., acknowledges cheers as she takes the stage during an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., waves to supporters as she takes the stage during an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., shakes hands with supporters as she takes the stage during an event to formally launch her presidential campaign, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Lawrence, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Elise Amendola

For the Monitor
Published: 2/9/2019 6:47:11 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts vowed to “fight hard” and promoted her progressive platform, as she spoke Saturday in front of a crowd packed inside of Dover’s city hall.

The stop in New Hampshire was her first after officially declaring her candidacy for president hours earlier in front of an audience in the thousands at an outdoor rally in Lawrence, Mass.

The populist Democratic senator, who was just re-elected last year, declared that “this is our moment to dream big, to fight hard, and to win.”

She spelled out her efforts to fight on behalf of working class Americans and highlighted her lower middle class upbringing in Oklahoma.

But Warren made no mention of the swirling controversy over her longstanding claims of Native American heritage, which resurfaced over the last week and served as a major distraction as the senator geared up for her official campaign launch. The senator wasn’t asked about the controversy during a 45-minute question and answer session with the audience of local lawmakers, rainmakers, Democratic activists and Granite State voters.

Spelling out her agenda, Warren highlighted that “we’ve got to change the rules to root out corruption in Washington. Two, we’ve got to change the rules in this economy.”

She called for making “sure everybody pays a fair share. That includes a wealth tax for our richest Americans,” and called for making it easier to join unions.

She targeted corruption in the nation’s capital, calling to “end the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington” and to “end lobbying as we know it.”

Warren said that “every child in this country will get a chance to build a future” and highlighted the “need to be making investments in our future. We need to be making real investments in education, to our little kids to our kids in higher ed.”

The senator also vowed to protect voting rights, saying “we need a constitutional amendment to protect the right of every American citizen to vote and to get that vote counted.”

As expected, Warren didn’t say a word about her claims of Native American ancestry, which first surfaced during her 2012 victory over then-Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

Her October release of a DNA test – meant to bolster her longstanding claims in hopes of settling the controversy before she launched a presidential bid – was widely panned. The move was intended to rebut Republican President Donald Trump’s controversial taunts of Warren as “Pocahontas.” Instead, her use of a genetic test to prove ethnicity spurred controversy that seemed to dampen the case she had hoped to make.

The taking of the DNA test also angered some tribal leaders of the Cherokee Nation, which resulted in an apology by Warren to the tribe last week. And she apologized again in the last couple of days after the surfacing of a 1986 registration card for the Texas state bar showed that she had written “American Indian” as her race. The inability to put the controversy to rest has proved to be a distraction to Warren, taking her off-message in the days leading up to her presidential announcement.

Many of the people in the pro-Democratic crowd who spoke with the Monitor downplayed the controversy.

Political operative Madeline DeSantis of Somersworth said she came to “hear everything (Warren) is running on, and that absolutely outshines all of that other nonsense.”

Robert Saulnier of Dover said that the stories in the media concerning Warren’s heritage are “completely insignificant.”

During the Dover event, Warren didn’t mention Trump’s name. But one questioner, in a critical reference to the president, thanked Warren “for using complete sentences.” That drew laughter from the crowd.

Warren officially enters an increasingly crowded Democratic field, which includes some of her Senate colleagues. Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey have already declared their candidacies, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York launched an exploratory committee. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is expected to jump into the race on Sunday.

Another Senate colleague and fellow populist – independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – appears to be moving towards making a second straight run for the Democratic nomination.

Also in the race are former San Antonio mayor and former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former representative John Delaney of Maryland, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Former vice president Joe Biden and former representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas are seriously mulling White House runs, as are Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio – who was in New Hampshire on Saturday – and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, billionaire media mogul and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Rep. Eric Swalwell of California.

Before coming on stage in Dover, Warren met privately with some leading state lawmakers and rainmakers, including Bill Shaheen, the veteran attorney, Democratic National Committee member from New Hampshire, and husband of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Also in the group were state Sens. David Watters and Jon Morgan, and Rockingham County Democrats chairman Larry Drake.

Coming to New Hampshire after declaring her candidacy in front of the historic Everett Mills in Lawrence was no surprise, as pundits see the first-in-the-nation primary as a must-win for a politician who hails from neighboring Massachusetts.

After her event, Warren headed to Iowa for a full day of campaigning Sunday in the state that votes first in the presidential caucus and primary calendar.




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