Elizabeth Warren struggles to name three black Americans influential to her


Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren struggled to name prominent black Americans who have influenced her politically and others she would add to her cabinet if elected.

The Massachusetts Senator was asked in two different podcast interviews about influential black leaders and how she would champion racial justice, struggling both tines to effectively answer the questions.

“Who are the black people, the black leaders, the folks who have contributed to your understanding of politics, of advocacy, of why you’re here sitting with me right now, and why you’re out in the world right now championing the causes you’re championing?” host Rashad Robinson asked Warren during the “Voting While Black” podcast on Tuesday.

(Source: Soundcloud)

The 2020 contender turned to what seemed an easy answer, referring to the late Congressman Elijah Cummings who died last month of complications from longstanding health problems.

“Elijah taught me a long time ago that you fight from the heart, and you fight from the heart for what you believe in,” Warren replied, adding that the former Maryland Democrat inspired her “when I first started arguing for the consumer agency.”

This influence and the contributions he apparently made in Warren’s life began only a few short years ago, in 2007, and she seemed to be at a loss to name even one other black leader who may have played a part in shaping her political viewpoint.

She was also asked to name “a moment, an issue, a policy where you were able to champion racial justice, to make racial justice real?”

Warren gave a lengthy response citing her creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with “an office on discrimination.”

CNN commentator Angela Rye then spoke with Warren at North Carolina A&T University on Thursday, starting off with some “icebreakers” before asking her to name three black people she would appoint to her cabinet if she is elected president.

“When you think about the makeup of your cabinet, what three African Americans do you feel like you have to have in your cabinet?” she asked during an interview on “Conversation with Angela Rye.”

(Source: Soundcloud)

“Ooh, you know, there’s a little danger in this answer because some of those folks are running for president, and may not want to be hearing themselves mentioned as cabinet members,” Warren said.

“Plus, dang, there’s some good people, and some of them are in Congress and may not want to hear that somebody’s got … Is that okay?” she added.

“The congresswoman is saying you don’t have to call my name,” Rye said.

“But what it is, it’s about having people who are fighters,” Warren went on, without actually naming anyone.

“It’s about having people who are in the fight and want to be in the fight and are going to stay in the fight. For me it’s about building a cabinet that’s about people who share the same vision, and who don’t just share vision, you don’t just see the big idea, but who have a real commitment to get out there and fight for it, that’s what I want. I want fighters in my cabinet,” Warren said, still avoiding Rye’s original query.

“Three names?” the host pressed.

“Oh, you’re making me cut off all the politicians,” Warren responded even though Rye had not qualified her reply.

“But if I can talk about people who aren’t politicians, I’d talk about my former governor Deval Patrick, who is a pretty terrific guy,” Warren said.

“I’d talk about some of the people I’ve met who are presidents of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities),” Warren said, adding “especially those who are deeply engaged in education.”

“And I’m trying to think, because I’m trying to stay outside the current Washington part, where’s the best place to go for cabinet members?” Warren continued, still struggling to name names.

“You know, it’s, it’s to have people who are in the fight,” she finally said, returning to her previous narrative.

“People like Melody Barnes, my friend of more than 20 years, who has been in this fight from the very beginning, who under President Obama was, did, was domestic policy advisor. Someone like Melody, who may not be as well known to this crowd, but who is out there fighting everyday for money for higher education, money for public schools, so that would be somebody I’d love to have in a cabinet,” Warren said, finally coming up with two out of the three requested choices.

President Trump told an Atlanta, Georgia, crowd on Friday that Democrats have not delivered on their empty promises to the black community.

The president slammed the Democrats’ “betrayal” of black voters and pledged at the “Black Voices for Trump” event that “the best is yet to come” if he is reelected.


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