LAWRENCE, Mass. — Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren made her bid for the presidency official on Saturday in this working-class city, grounding her 2020 campaign in a populist call to fight economic inequality and build “an America that works for everyone.”
Warren delivered a sharp call for change at her presidential kickoff, decrying a “middle-class squeeze” that has left Americans crunched with “too little accountability for the rich, too little opportunity for everyone else.”
She and her backers hope that message can distinguish her in a crowded Democratic field and help her move past the controversy surrounding her past claims to Native American heritage.
Weaving specific policy prescriptions into her remarks, from Medicare for All to the elimination of Washington “lobbying as we know it,” Warren avoided taking direct jabs at President Donald Trump. She aimed for a broader institutional shift instead, urging supporters to choose “a government that makes different choices, choices that reflect our values.”
Trump “is not the cause of what’s broken,” Warren told an elated crowd without using the president’s name. “He’s just the latest — and most extreme — symptom of what’s gone wrong in America.”
In a tweet, Trump referenced the controversy over her Native American identity, once again using the insulting nickname he’s given her.
“Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President,” Trump tweeted. “Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”
Warren announced her campaign in her home state of Massachusetts at a mill site where factory workers went on strike in the early 20th century, a fitting forum for the longtime consumer advocate to advance her platform.
Supporters turned out in below-freezing temperatures, many hoisting signs — “Win With Warren,” one read. A Massachusetts bakery created “Persist” cookies for the event to honor the candidate’s slogan, “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” words first spoken in the Senate to rebuke her.