Elizabeth Warren on Principles & Values
WARREN: I think it's four [years]..
Q: What drew you to the GOP and why did you leave?.
WARREN: I was originally an independent. I was with the GOP for a while because I really thought that it was a party that was principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets. And I feel like the GOP party just left that. That they moved to a party that said, no, it's not about a level playing field, it's now about a field that has gotten tilted. And they really stood up for the big financial institutions when the big financial institutions are just hammering middle class American families. You know, I just feel like that's a party that moved way, way away.
Republicans also accused me of using my background to get ahead, but that simply wasn't true. It wasn't a question of whether I COULD have sought advantage--I just didn't. I never asked for special treatment when I applied to college, to law school, or for jobs. As the story broke and people dug through my background, every place that hired me backed that up 100%--including the Harvard hiring committee. Harvard told the media they didn't know about my background when they hired me; they offered me a job because they thought I was a good law professor. Period.
But the facts didn't slow the Republicans down, and their attacks continued. Right-wing blogs took to calling me "Fauxcahontas."
Reverend Culpepper at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church offered me wise counsel: Be still and listen. Have faith. Let people know your heart. As the campaign progressed, I found myself thinking about Reverend Culpepper's words time and again.
I carried my King James Bible to services, the same one I'd carried since 4th grade. Sometimes the pastor called on me to speak. I'd never spoken to a whole congregation. But I talked about my favorite Bible verse, Matthew 25:40. Its message was very simple: The Lord calls us to action. It's what we DO that matters most.
[Matthew 25:40 "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."]
Warren said that her parents told her growing up that her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware Indian and that as a child she never questioned that story. Warren also said those who hired her during her law school career had said they were either unaware of her background or that it played no role in their decision to hire her. "This is about family. I can't and I won't change who I am," she said.
Some members of Warren's extended family had also heard stories of Native American blood in the family, but others had not.
Brown challenged Warren to release her personnel records to prove that her claim of Native American heritage had played no role in her getting jobs. Warren pointed to the fact that Prof. Charles Fried, a Republican, who sat on the committee that recruited Warren for her Harvard job, said that he was unaware of her ancestry when she was hired. "There's nothing else there. The question has been asked and answered. I think the senator just doesn't like the answer," Warren said
BROWN: I think character is important. Professor Warren claimed she was a Native American, a person of color. And as you can see, she's not.
WARREN: When I was growing up, these were the stories I knew about my heritage. When [my parents] wanted to get married, my father's family said no because my mother was part Delaware and part Cherokee. This is my family, this is who I am, and it's not going to change.
Her opponents question whether Warren chose this heritage to gain advantages available to Indians and other underrepresented groups in academia. Warren has been adamant that she did not seek any advantage from Native American heritage. Records show that she declined to apply for admission to Rutgers Law School under a minority student program and identified her race as "White" on an employment record at the University of Texas.
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