WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, with plans to formally announce a bid for the Democratic nomination early next year.
Warren made the reveal in a four-and-a-half-minute video, in which she said, “no matter what our differences, most of us want the same thing: To be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, and take care of the people we love.”
The video is biographical, but it also signaled the type of populist campaign she intends to run.
It refers to Washington as a “whole scam” for the “wealthy and well-connected,” and characterizes Fox News as an “echo chamber of fear and hate.” It features images of Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and the hosts of “Fox and Friends,” interspersed with those of Trump administration figures.
Warren is expected to be among the more formidable candidates in a large field of Democrats, perhaps as many as two dozen. So far, Julian Castro, the secretary of health and human services under President Barack Obama, has announced the formation of an exploratory committee, and Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has launched a campaign.
“Our government is supposed to work for all of us, but instead it has become a tool for the wealthy and well-connected,” Warren said. “The whole scam is propped up by an echo chamber of fear and hate, designed to distract and divide us. People will do or say anything to hang on to power, point the finger at anyone who thinks, prays, or loves differently than they do.”
Warren will likely be among a block of candidates appealing to the left of the Democratic party, and her video emphasizes her willingness to take on Wall Street and big banks. Another clip features an appearance she made on Fox Business with host Neil Cavuto, who introduced her as “a woman who has warned of another meltdown if Washington doesn’t straighten up.”
Warren was an academic and consumer advocate who gained notoriety during the 2008 financial crisis when she chaired a congressional panel to oversee the bank bailout. She later took a post in the Obama administration, and played a role in the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She ran for Senate in 2012, and beat incumbent Scott Brown.
President Trump has derisively referred to her as “Pocahontas,” capitalizing on a Senate campaign controversy over Warren’s claim to have Native American heritage. Last year, Warren revealed the results of a DNA test that showed distant ancestry. She has called Trump’s references “racist” and has pointed to news reports concluding that heritage played no role in her hiring as an academic.