Elizabeth Warren will “take a hard look at running for president” once the midterm elections are done.
The Massachusetts senator, 69 and long touted as a potential 2020 nominee, made the telling remark at a town hall event in Holyoke on Saturday.
According to a Boston Globe report, an audience member asked Warren about her White House ambitions. The paper said the senator first counselled focus on Democratic attempts to retake the House and Senate.
According to a version of Warren’s remarks emailed to the Guardian by a spokesperson, the senator then said: “But let’s face [it], Donald Trump is taking this country in the wrong direction. Working people have taken one punch to the gut after another. And I am worried down to my bones about what Donald Trump is doing to our democracy.”
Warren then discussed the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Thursday in which Trump’s supreme court pick Brett Kavanaugh and one of three women who accuse him of sexual assault, Dr Christine Blasey Ford, testified before an enthralled and divided nation.
“Washington was broken long before Donald Trump ever got there,” Warren said. “But it has gotten a whole lot worse. And then this week, I watched 11 men who were too chicken to ask a woman a single question.”
Republicans on the Senate panel hired an Arizona sex crimes prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to question Ford. Kavanaugh angrily denied Ford’s accusation and accused Democrats of a political attack. On Saturday, details of the renewed FBI investigation on the matter became known.
Warren continued: “I watched as Brett Kavanaugh acted like he was entitled to that position and angry at anyone who would question him. I watched powerful men helping a powerful man make it to an even more powerful position.
“I watched that and I thought, ‘Time’s up. Time’s up. It’s time for women to go to Washington and fix our broken government and that includes a woman at the top.’
“So here’s what I promise: after 6 November, I will take a hard look at running for president.”
Warren was elected to the Senate in 2012 and considered as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Well-regarded on the progressive left of the Democratic party, she has been fundraising prominently for the midterms and her own campaigns.
She has previously demurred about her presidential ambitions, albeit in traditionally non-definitive ways.
In a recent memoir, she wrote that the hardships of her first Senate race deterred her from running for the White House four years later.
“It was hard for [her husband Bruce Mann] to see me ridiculed and called names, hard to see our children dragged into political attacks, hard to see both his sister and my brothers worry,” she wrote.
Donald Trump, who if not impeached or removed by other means would be the Republican nominee in 2020, delights in attacking Warren – not only for her politics but also over her claims of Native American ancestry. The president calls her “Pocahontas”.
He renewed those attacks on Saturday night in Wheeling, West Virginia. [The Democratic party has “gone so far left where Pocahontas is now considered a conservative” said Trump. “Elizabeth Warren, she’s considered a conservative person. They’ve gone crazy. They’ve gone loco.”