Elizabeth Warren defies Native American row to enter White House race | US News


Senator Elizabeth Warren has become the latest Democrat to formally announce she is running for the US presidency.

The 69-year-old politician – one of the party’s most recognisable faces – had formed an exploratory committee on New Year’s Eve looking into a possible bid to win the nomination.

Her campaign launch comes at a challenging moment for the Massachusetts senator.

She has twice apologised in the last fortnight for claiming Native American heritage on multiple occasions early in her career.

This has provided ammunition for her Republican rivals, including President Donald Trump, who has poked fun at Ms Warren, calling her “Pocahontas”.

She is hoping her pledge to fight economic inequality and build “an America that works for everyone” will help distinguish her in an already crowded field.

Elizabeth Warren
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She is hoping her pledge to fight economic inequality will help distinguish her in an already crowded field

She officially announced she was joining the 2020 White House race at a mill site in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where immigrant factory workers went on strike about 100 years ago.

Ms Warren delivered a sharp call for change and criticised a “middle-class squeeze” that has left “too little accountability for the rich, too little opportunity for everyone else”.

But during her speech to supporters she avoided hitting out directly at Mr Trump.

She has proposed a wealth tax, imposed annually on “ultra-millionaires”. Fortunes over $50m (£38m) would be taxed at 2% and billionaires would pay 3% – reportedly raising $2.75trn (£2.12trn) over 10 years.

US Senator Kamala Harris has announced she is running for president in 2020
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Senator Kamala Harris is one of the current favourites for the Democrat nomination

The current frontrunners for the Democrat nomination, according to bookmakers, include California senator Kamala Harris, former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke and former US vice-president Joe Biden.

Mr O’Rourke and Mr Biden have not yet announced whether they will run for 2020.

In the latest betting, Ms Warren is behind all three as well as Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who lost to Hillary Clinton in the previous Democrat campaign. He is still undeclared.

Ms Warren has spent the past decade in the national spotlight, including as a consumer activist during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

She later headed the congressional panel that oversaw the $700bn (£540bn) bailout of hundreds of banks and as well as insurers and automakers.

After Republicans blocked her from running the consumer financial protection bureau, an agency she helped create, she ran for the senate in 2012 and defeated a Republican incumbent.

She has $11m (£8.5m) left over from her 2018 senate re-election victory that can be used on her presidential run.

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