Senator Warren takes step towards presidential run

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren announces she is forming an exploratory committee to run for the White House.

Ben Ariel,

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Reuters

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Monday became the first major Democratic name to jump into the 2020 presidential race, announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to run for the White House, The Hill reports.

Warren made the announcement in a video sent to supporters and posted on YouTube.

“America’s middle class is under attack. How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie. And they enlisted politicians to cut them a bigger slice,” she said in the video.

Warren’s announcement comes about 13 months before the Iowa caucuses. Aside from Warren, the biggest name to have announced an exploratory committee is former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Warren has long been seen as a leading contender for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination.

Warren, 69, is a former Harvard professor who first came to national prominence after the 2008 financial crisis. Warren chaired an oversight panel established by Congress that evaluated government programs intended to bolster the country after the crisis and worked to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Last April, she called on the Israeli government to respect the rights of Palestinian Arab protesters on the Gaza border. The protests, dubbed the “March of the Return”, have been occurring on a weekly basis since March 30 and have been orchestrated and encouraged by Hamas.

Polls suggest former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are the early leaders for the Democratic nomination.

Biden recently claimed he is the “most qualified” person to serve as president, fueling speculation that he might make a 2020 bid for the White House.

In October, when asked at an event in London whether he would be running for president in 2020, Biden sidestepped the question, saying instead that every potential Democratic contender for the 2020 presidential campaign would adopt a "more enlightened foreign policy" than the current president Donald Trump.

Sanders, who ran in the Democratic primaries ahead of the last presidential elections but lost to Hillary Clinton, has already indicated on Monday that he is considering another presidential run in 2020.

Other figures looking at the race include Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who registered as a Democrat in October, and Sens. Cory Booker (NJ), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Sherrod Brown (OH), Kamala Harris (CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY).

Warren has clashed with Trump, who frequently refers to her as "Pocahontas," a racially charged remark that has drawn intense criticism.

In October, Warren announced the results of a DNA test that showed "strong evidence" that she has Native American ancestry. The move was intended to put to rest scrutiny that she had claimed Native American ancestry, something Trump had used to question her credibility.

The release of the test did not end Trump's insults, and it also drew criticism from some Native American groups who see such genetic tests as problematic, noted The Hill.




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