Elizabeth Warren on Principles & Values



Registered Independent & Republican in Pennsylvania in 1990s

Q: It might surprise a lot of your supporters to know that you were a registered Republican as recently as 1996, in Pennsylvania, from 1991 to 1996.

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.

Source: ABC This Week 2014 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 27, 2014

Fauxcahontas: Accused of using Indian heritage for gain

My mother and her family and her father's families both had Native American roots. Now, in the middle of a heated Senate campaign, Republicans insisted that all of that was a lie. They claimed I wasn't who I said I was; they said I had cheated to get where I'd gotten.

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."

Source: A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren, p.239-41 , Apr 22, 2014

Favorite Bible verse: Matthew 25:40

[During the 2012 campaign], moments of peace were treasures, offering calm in an otherwise crazy life. Bruce and I went to Easter services and Passover seders. It felt healing to be able, even for a short while, to focus on values and to be in touch with the spirit that moved me into this race.

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."]

Source: A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren, p.243 , Apr 22, 2014

My family is part Cherokee and I can't change who I am

Brown began the debate by saying Warren "checked the box claiming she is Native American, and clearly she is not." Brown called on Warren, a professor at Harvard Law School, to release records related to her hiring at the school to show whether she got an unfair advantage. "I think character is important," he said.

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.

Source: North Adams Transcript on 2012 Mass. Senate debate , Sep 21, 2012

My Indian heritage played no role in Harvard hiring

Questions about Warren's roots have dogged her campaign since the story broke in April. Warren has acknowledged that she had identified herself as a minority in a legal directory for nearly a decade, and she was listed as a Native American in federal forms filed by Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania where she worked. But she has said her heritage claim played no role in her career advancement.

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

Source: Boston Globe 2012 FactCheck on Mass. Senate Debate , Sep 21, 2012

My father's family rejected my mother's Indian heritage

Q: Is character an issue in this Senate race?

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.

Source: Boston Globe on 2012 Mass. Senate debate , Sep 20, 2012

I know I'm 1/32 Cherokee because my mother told me so

Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, was listed as Native American in 1995. HLS listed her as a minority when the school was under pressure to diversify the faculty. Warren has said that her "family lore" described Indian ancestors, and the New Englan Genealogy Association said it found indications, but not proof, that Warren had a Cherokee great-great-great-grandmother, which would make her 1/32 Indian. "I'm proud of my heritage," Warren said. Asked how she knew it included Native Americans, she replied, "Because my mother told me so."

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.

Source: Associated Press on 2012 Mass. Senate debates , May 25, 2012

Created intellectual foundation for Occupy Wall Street

I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they [Occupy Wall Street] do. I support what they do.
Source: The Daily Beast, "I created Occupy Wall Street" , Oct 24, 2011

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Page last updated: Aug 18, 2016