Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) isn’t campaigning for president — but she apparently isn’t willing to state whether or not that could change.
In a Washington Post article published last Friday, columnist Ruth Marcus repeatedly asked Warren, a darling of the populist left, why she won’t declare she will not run for president in 2016.
“I am not running for president in 2016,” Warren replied.
“Yes,” Marcus said she pressed, “but why not say, I am not running and I will not run?”
But Warren wouldn’t commit to the second phrasing.
“Because we can’t get so deeply involved in the politics of 2016 that we miss the importance of the issues in front of us today in July of 2014 and the 2014 election,” Warren said. “It is absolutely crucial to stay focused right now on this set of issues and that’s what I’m doing.”
Warren further claimed she was being “definitive” despite her careful word choice.
“The point is not to try to create any ambiguity,” she added. “I am not running. I think I am being definitive.”
Warren has previously urged former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president, and Clinton is by far the front-runner in the Democratic side of the contest. However, some have speculated that Warren could run to Clinton’s left, especially on economic issues.
Warren also deployed cautious phrasing when asked about Clinton’s expected bid.
“[U]nlike some colleagues, ‘bless their hearts,'” Marcus wrote, “Warren has not endorsed the former secretary of state, arguing that since Clinton has not announced there is no endorsement to be made.”
When Marcus also asked Warren what she made of Clinton’s recent “dead broke” gaffe — when the wealthy former First Lady claimed to have “struggled” to buy “houses” after leaving the White House — Warren reportedly paused for a full 19 seconds before answering.
“Um, I was surprised,” Warren finally said. “But, families across this country are working so hard to hold together.”
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