Shared from the 2/7/2019 Houston Chronicle eEdition

Warren planned fanfare, instead gets criticism

Senator apologizes for 1986 claim of Native heritage



WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren planned to spend the week gearing up for a “big announcement,” in her home state of Massachusetts followed by a ceremonial tour of Iowa.

Instead, the U.S. senator has been overwhelmed yet again with criticism about her claims of Native American heritage. It is the latest in a series of unforced errors that have destabilized Warren, as she attempts to roll out one of the most highly anticipated presidential campaigns in a competitive Democratic field.

The Washington Post report Tuesday that Warren had identified herself as “American Indian” on a1986 State Bar of Texas registration card prompted Warren to repeat and clarify an apology that landed with a thud earlier this week.

Representatives for Warren did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

“I can’t go back,” Warren told the Washington Post. “But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”

The report revives acontroversy over Warren’s past assertions of Native American heritage that threatens to be a drag on her nascent run for her party’s nomination to challenge President Donald Trump next year.

Warren in October reignited the debate over her claims when she released the results of a DNA test that suggested she does have adistant Native American ancestor in her lineage dating back six to 10 generations. She later apologized to the Cherokee Nation for her decision to take the DNA test after they criticized it as useless in determining citizenship.

The incident earned her a satirical headline in the Onion, dozens of questions from reporters who dogged her in the halls of the Capitol building and a renewed dig from Trump.

The president repeated the racist taunt that started the whole thing in an interview with the New York Times last week. “I do think Elizabeth Warren’s been hurt very badly with the Pocahontas trap,” Trump said.

ABC’s Rick Klein pointed out Trump’s goading is far worse than any of Warren’s alleged misdeeds. Her problem, he said, is rather that she is struggling to define herself at a time when Democrats are demanding authenticity.

“For a candidate who’s not even technically a candidate yet, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has done a whole lot of battling with herself,” ABC’s Rick Klein opined.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told CNN pm Wednesday of Warren, “I think she’s apologized. I think she’s handled it well. I think people ought to be debating the many interesting ideas that she’s putting out.”

See this article in the e-Edition Here