USA presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren asked about her ancestry at Iowa event

USA presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren asked about her ancestry at Iowa event

Senator Elizabeth Warren informally kicked off the 2020 Democratic presidential nominating fight on a weekend visit to Iowa, condemning the corrupting influence of money on politics and lamenting lost economic opportunities for working families.

Warren added, "What I can do is I can be in this fight for all of our families".

She must also move past a widely panned October release of a DNA test meant to bolster her claim to Native American heritage.

Warren's visit is an effort to gain an early advantage in the state. Her first question wasn't about policy, but about a weird stunt that revealed she does not have a strong claim to Native American ancestry. I'm not a citizen of a tribe. I can't stop him from hurling racial insults. The Cherokee Nation said Warren was making a mockery out of DNA tests and was "undermining tribal interests". "That's what I'm fighting for and that's why today I'm launching an exploratory committee for president".

Warren's Native American ancestry claims weren't the only struggle she faced on the stump in Iowa, one of the biggest presidential election battleground states. "Tribes-and only tribes-determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference" between ancestry and citizenship. "I am grateful, but I am also determined".

"It's not like I have tested this out with some focus groups, or done a bunch of polling", she said in Des Moines and at other stops.

"I'm actually surprised that Elizabeth Warren found Storm Lake, Iowa on the map and is coming here", Barbara Stroud of Newell said as she waited to hear Sen.

Angela Nelson, 50, a special education teacher from Omaha, Nebraska, said she was concerned to see questions raised about Warren's likeability amid comparisons to Hillary Clinton, the unsuccessful 2016 Democratic nominee.

And, is there a potential for a primary challenger for President Trump?

Warren has addressed the backlash to her DNA test before, using similar language, but this - the first question on her first full day of campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in Iowa - underscored the lingering concerns over her decision.

"She's not afraid to stand toe to toe with Trump", he said.

Outside Warren's debut event on Friday night, Natalie Wertz, 29, who was waiting for the candidate with a friend - both of them having purchased pink T-shirts emblazoned with Warren's de facto slogan, "Nevertheless, she persisted" - spoke confidently of Warren's potential as a candidate.

MARTIN: Well, one of the other things that she's known for is her willingness to take on President Trump.

Warren, 69, is the first of the better-known national Democratic presidential prospects to announce an exploratory committee and set course for Iowa, marking the unofficial start in the campaign for the caucuses, scheduled for February 2020.

If her first campaign week is any indication, Warren could be in for a long and bumpy road ahead for 2020.

The response from Warren on her heritage was prompted by an audience member during a question and answer portion following the senator's speech. Took a while, but I am just going to put it all out there.

KHALID: When you ask Democrats in Iowa what's important to them, a lot of them mention the same few issues - health care, college affordability, the climate and the economy. "Anybody can look at it", she said.

"They were already attacking her before she even ran because everybody suspected she was going to run anyway", Smith said -- and if getting out early helps Warren fundraise, "power to her".

Warren's staff logged the names and contact information for those interested in more information.

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