A campaign surrogate for Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren stood by Warren’s claim that she has a Cherokee background, in a Monday interview with Ed Schultz.
Massachusetts State Sen. Katherine Clark (D) claimed that research has supported Warren’s heritage, and rejected Schultz’s comparison between Warren and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), who misrepresented his military service during his Senate campaign:
SCHULTZ: Okay, I don’t disagree with that. But the fact is that she is, I guess, trailing a little bit in the polls—it’s very close. But this is the issue that they continue to push, this is the issue that the Brown campaign puts out on TV. The point I’m making is that Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut made misstatements about his service in Vietnam. He came out and had a press conference with the veterans. He cleared the air, and he won the race.
CLARK: It's a very different situation than what happened with Blumenthal. Elizabeth Warren has been very clear: This is what she was taught from the time she was a small girl that she has Native American relatives and it's been demonstrated by some of the research that's been done that, in fact, there are records that support that claim. But it is our waste of our time as taxpayers and voters in Massachusetts to be focused on generations past in Elizabeth Warren's family. The issues that matter to us in Massachusetts are primarily economic. Those are the issues this discussion needs to come around to. I think it's very hard when you have the brown campaign trying to make a big deal politically out of a recipe book. To hold a press conference and give any sort of credibility to that really takes away from issues that matter.
SCHULTZ: Wait a minute. Did she ever put down on an application that she was Native American? It's fair question. And if she did, so what. It was years ago or whatever. But what they are trying to do is paint her out who is someone that is not credible, not telling the truth, hiding something, maybe took an advantage when she didn't deserve it. I just think that needs to be addressed. When you pick up the largest newspapers in the country and they are writing about this, it would seem it's disfocusing the campaign somewhat.
CLARK: I think that issue has been addressed. Both Harvard and Penn have said minority status had nothing to do with this. And this is really, to keep coming back to this issue is a distraction that just isn't appealing to the voters and to the families here.
The Boston Globe reported in a correction last week that there is no documented proof currently available that confirms Warren is 1/32nd Native American.