Before a gathered crowd of supporters in Lawrence, Mass., Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced her candidacy for president, framing her campaign as a “fight of our lives.”
“This is the fight of our lives. The fight to build an America where dreams are possible, an America that works for everyone,” Warren said. “I am in that fight all the way. And that is why I stand here today: to declare that I am a candidate for President of the United States of America.”
In her announcement speech, Warren was critical of the political establishment, calling the government a “rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else.” If elected, Warren promised to “clean up Washington, change rules in our economy, [and] change rules to strengthen our democracy.”
Warren also criticized President Donald Trump, although she did not name him: “The man in the White House is not the cause of what is broken, he is just the latest and most extreme symptom of what’s gone wrong in America,” Warren said.
Warren was joined by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) who endorsed her run for president. “Before there was an editorial every day lamenting economic inequity, Elizabeth Warren knew that stock prices don’t tell a full account of our country’s economic story,” Kennedy said. “Medical bankruptcies and foreclosures and paychecks are part of that story, too.”
Warren, a former law professor and teacher who helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has long fought to protect the middle class from predatory financial institutions and unfair business practices. She launched her campaign in Lawrence because a strike took place there in 1912, led mostly by women and immigrants, to fight against poor working conditions. “Underpaid, overworked, and flat-out exploited workers from more than 50 countries gave Lawrence the nickname ‘Immigrant City,'” Warren’s campaign said in an e-mail to supporters last week announcing the event.
Warren also vowed to run a campaign without money from powerful political action committees, which can obfuscate where donations come from.
Let’s be clear: I won't take a dime of PAC money in this campaign. I won't take a single check from a federal lobbyist, or billionaires who want to run a Super PAC on my behalf.
And I challenge every other candidate who asks for your vote in this primary to do the same.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 9, 2019
But Warren faces obstacles that arose even before her campaign began. She has been accused of appropriating a Native American heritage, despite the fact that she is white, and records from her Texas Bar application show that she listed her race as American Indian. Warren chose to take a DNA test to prove her native roots, but that flub only served to further aggravate indigenous peoples who do not use DNA tests to determine tribal citizenship. Last week, Warren apologized, and she apologized again on Wednesday, but for many, it came too late. Whether she can move past this single issue and get the media to focus on her campaign promises remains to be seen.