Continetti: Warren Calling Herself Native American on Bar Registration Is 'Potentially Fatal' for 2020

'It goes to the heart of the issue of honesty,' he said.

February 6, 2019

Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti on Wednesday questioned whether Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) maintains any amount of public trust after new revelations about her claims to Native American identity.

The hosts of "America’s Newsroom" on Fox News opened with a discussion of a new Washington Post report finding Warren had claimed to be a Native American on her registration card for the State Bar of Texas in 1986. Former John Kerry adviser Marie Harf argued this was not the issue that will sink Warren, but Continetti said Warren’s credibility is likely damaged permanently.

"I’m not sure any of us want to get in the business of saying this percentage is enough to claim American Indian [identity]," Harf said, referencing a DNA test showing Warren is, at most, 1/64th Native American.

"The Cherokee Nation is in the business of this and accepted her apology for it," Continetti said. "It has clearly been a mess for Elizabeth Warren, for years. This issue pre-dated Donald Trump. It may even postdate him."

Continetti argued her presidential candidacy is likely finished by the news that she did refer to her race as Native American in an application document, which she had previously denied doing.

"I think this is potentially fatal to her presidential candidacy, certainly in a general election, because it goes to the heart of the issue of honesty," Continetti said. "Remember, how were you able to get John Kerry with the Swift Boat Veterans? The issue was honesty. This is the same issue with Elizabeth Warren."

Warren had previously been famous for claiming to be a Native American when she when to work at Harvard, but she insisted it did not help her application. Continetti pointed out the Texas document came much earlier.

"She had listed it in her Harvard documents and then this is an even earlier case of her identifying as an American Indian. She is not an American Indian," Continetti said.

"You think it could be fatal?" co-host Bill Hemmer asked Continetti.

"Because it goes to the issue, not of ethnicity, not of counting genes, but of honesty," Continetti replied.

Warren has not disputed the veracity of the Bar registration. She attempted to put the issue behind her by taking a DNA test last year and producing a campaign style video touting the result that she likely had a Native ancestor 6-10 generations back. It backfired, with conservatives mocking her tenuous claim and many on the left attacking the validity of DNA tests, while the Cherokee Nation was perhaps the most critical. Warren has since apologized to the tribe.