AXED: Elizabeth Warren Bumbles on Axelrod's Indian Questions on CNN

Former Obama chief strategist and White House adviser David Axelrod usually interviews his Democrat friends for his CNN show/podcast The Axe Files. But it wasn't cozy in Saturday night's installment, at least not about 35 minutes into the hour, when Axelrod asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren why she decided to call herself an "American Indian" on professional applications, including for a law license. You can tell strategist Axelrod isn't a fan of her strategy.

Amber Athey at the Daily Caller highlighted the exchange, and how she bumbled through her answers. 

DAVID AXELROD: I have to ask you about another family issue that you're probably sick of talking about -- this issue of your lineage, and the Native American issue that has dogged you since your first Senate race. There've been all kinds of reports about it, including going through your hirings and asserting that there was no favoritism paid to you.

But the question that I've never understood is why? Why did you in 1986 fill out on your — I guess it was your law license or something — an application, ‘American Indian’? Why did you check those boxes? Because obviously that’s a very small part of your lineage, you know, 1/32nd or something. So why did you do it?

ELIZABETH WARREN: So, like you said, I grew up in Oklahoma. I learned about my family the same way most people learn about their families, you know, from my mom and my dad, my aunts and my uncles. And based on what I learned growing up, and the fact that I love my family, decades ago I sometimes identified as Native American. It  never had anything to do with any job I got. That's been fully documented.

AXELROD: But the universities kind of fudged and used you for their own purposes.

[Harvard Law School once touted her as a Native American professor. A Fordham Law Review article from 1997 identified Warren as Harvard Law’s “first woman of color.”]

WARREN: It never had anything to do with my getting a job. Even so, I shouldn’t have done it. I’m not a person of color, I am not a citizen of a tribe. But what I try to do is be a good friend to Native Americans....

Axelrod also noted (and played a clip of) Warren's video announcing DNA test results that she had a Native American ancestor somewhere. He noted it angered some tribal leaders, and "It was something the president picked up, he's branded you with this Pocahontas thing. Was that a mistake? To put that video out?" 

Warren replied, “I can’t go back — all I can do is go forward." Axelrod injected "But you can learn from it," and she replied "I think I have.” Axelrod interjected "Did you learn about what not to do in dealing with Donald Trump?" She demurred: You know, look, Donald Trump is going to do what Donald Trump is going to do."

Then it turned to the often-humorous point when Democrats protest we cant let Trump "pit one group against another." As if Democrats never do that. 

Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential CNN David Axelrod Elizabeth Warren
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