Like Clinton's Emails, Doubts About Warren's Ancestry Claim Aren't Going Away

As Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., prepares to hit the road promoting her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, her failure to definitively resolve long-standing questions about her dubious claims of Native American heritage has some critics declaring her campaign dead before it even begins.

“She’s done as a 2020 presidential candidate,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell.

Days before its official kickoff event in Massachusetts, Warren’s nascent presidential campaign was shaken Tuesday by a Washington Post report that she identified herself as “American Indian” on a 1986 Texas Bar registration form. A registration card obtained by The Post provided documentary confirmation that Warren asserted her contested Native American ancestry early in her legal career.

In field of more than 20 potential contenders for the Democratic nomination, O’Connell predicted Warren will never survive with this controversy around her neck.

“She may be a solid progressive but she’s damaged goods as a nominee,” he said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if the White House was praying she is the nominee.”

Supporters argue the revelation that Warren declared her race “American Indian” on a form that was meant to be confidential and had no bearing on her admission by the Texas Bar adds little to the narrative that was not already known. It appears to be consistent with her assertion that she believed she had Native American blood at the time.

O’Connell, who is also an attorney, argued a bar registration card carries significantly more weight than a legal directory listing.

“The bar card, as a lawyer, is really you attesting to yourself and really doing it by your own hand,” he said.

Warren acknowledged Wednesday there could be more documents out there on which she identified herself as Native American.

O’Connell rejected those complaints and suggested Warren’s ancestry claim is an even bigger detriment than Clinton’s emails because it undercuts the central narrative of her biography.

“Hillary Clinton didn’t build her backstory on her emails,” he said. “[Warren’s] whole narrative is, ‘I rose to the top.’”

Read more from Stephen Loiaconi at Sinclair Broadcast Group

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