Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is using tricky language to dodge questions about potentially running for president.
In an NPR interview published Monday morning, Warren was repeatedly asked about a White House bid but would only deny her interest in the present tense — leaving the door open for her plans to change in the future.
“I’m not running for president. That’s not what we’re doing. We had a really important fight in the United States Congress just this past week. And I’m putting all my energy into that fight and to what happens after this,” Warren said.
Warren was responding to a question about the mass of former Barack Obama campaign staffers who have signed a letter urging her to run. A large number of liberal activists view Warren as the left’s best chance at thwarting Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep asked Warren why she wouldn’t tell these supporters to give up.
“I told them, ‘I’m not running for president,'” Warren replied.
“You’re putting that in the present tense, though. Are you never going to run?” Inskeep pressed.
“I am not running for president,” she repeated.
Inskeep tried one more time.
“You’re not putting a ‘never’ on that,” he noted.
“I am not running for president. You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?” Warren asked.
Warren’s language in the NPR interview is almost identical to what she used last June to dodge 2016 presidential speculation. At the time, a Washington Post columnist called out Warren’s use of the present tense and asked her why she won’t say, “I am not running and I will not run?”
“The point is not to try to create any ambiguity,” she said, still refusing to give a definitive answer. “I am not running. I think I am being definitive.”
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