Brown continues offense on Warren over Native American claims
May 8th, 2012
02:52 PM ET
2 years ago

Brown continues offense on Warren over Native American claims

(CNN) – Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who's running to keep his seat representing Massachusetts, on Tuesday called for Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren to release confidential documents to show whether or not she claimed her Native American roots on job applications.

"The best way to satisfy these questions is for Elizabeth Warren to authorize the release of her law school applications and all personnel files from the various universities where she has taught," Brown said in a statement.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Warren stirred controversy last week when she confirmed that she had described herself in faculty directories as having Native American heritage while teaching at Harvard Law School. She said she did so in order to meet others with similar backgrounds.

"I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group, something that might happen with people who are like I am," Warren told reporters, according to Boston Herald. She added that she stopped checking off that box, as she felt it was an ineffective in expanding her social circles.

Opponents quickly seized on her comments, arguing she had tried to use minority status as a way to advance her career. Harvard's student newspaper The Crimson printed articles in the late 90s quoting law school administrators hailing Warren's Native American heritage as evidence of faculty diversity.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society provided CNN with initial research last week, showing several members of Warren's maternal family claiming Cherokee heritage. The Native American link extends to Warren's great-great-great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith, who is said to be described as Cherokee in an 1894 marriage license application. NEHGS gathered that information through a 2006 family newsletter, and says the original application cannot be located.

While Brown's campaign has been critical of Warren during the controversy, his team took it a step further Tuesday when the incumbent senator himself urged his opponent to make public some of her private records.

Brown argued Warren's handling of the situation has "cast doubt on her credibility and called into question the diversity practices at Harvard."

Responding to his latest push, Warren's spokeswoman Alethea Harney accused Brown Tuesday of "shamelessly" trying to distract voters by calling attention to the issue.

"Once again, Republican Senator Brown is shamelessly attempting to divert attention from his record on the issues that really matter in this election, like the cost of student loans," Harney said in a statement to CNN, pointing to Brown's vote, along with other Senate Republicans, against a bill Tuesday aimed to prevent student loan interest rates from going up this summer.

"Minutes after Scott Brown voted with his Republican party to double interest rates on student loans, he ridiculously attacked Elizabeth Warren with questions that have already been answered," she added.

While most in the Senate agreed the interest rate should stay at its current level, Democrats and Republicans were divided over how to pay for the extension.

Last week, Warren said she was proud of her Native American heritage but added she was hired at Harvard for her teaching ability, not in an effort to bolster diversity on the university's faculty.

"Being Native American has been part of my story I guess since the day I was born," Warren said. "These are my family stories, I have lived in a family that has talked about Native American and talked about tribes since I was a little girl."

Despite Warren's claim to have embraced her Native American heritage as a child, she has largely avoiding referencing that background on the campaign trail and in her official biography.

Also see:

Soros donates $1 million to liberal super PAC

White House downplays Biden's same-sex marriage remarks

Poll: Romney, Obama dead even in dozen swing states


Filed under: 2012 • Elizabeth Warren • Massachusetts • Scott Brown • Senate
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Brown stop being a turd and let it go man!
    There would be more legitimacy in Warren questioning your judgement when you decided to pose nude, than in you questioning the fact that she has Native American heritage.

    May 8, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Two words: "death panels"

    "Does she have a Native American background? YES. Then what is the problem??"

    The problem isn't that she has a Native American background or that she advertised that she had one in order to open up opportunities to network with other people who have Native American backgrounds. The FACT is that these accusations and Brown's obviously desperate attempt to keep them alive are a proxy argument...a giant wink wink signal...to the GOP/Teatrolls base and their "war on political correctness" and their newly rejuvinated temper tantrum over affirmative action and multicultralism, not to mention the freakout they've been engaged in over the rapidly shifting demographic face of the nation.

    May 8, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Norma Vessels

    All one has to remember of Scott Brown, is that he is stepping rock solid with the party of "No" when it comes to a vote that will help the common people.

    May 8, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. yolanda

    The libs can dish it out, but judging from the postings above, their collective skin is verrrry thin....

    May 8, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. hank

    Squaw will scalp the pale face Brown.

    May 8, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)
    Brown stop bein a turd and let it go man!
    There would be more legitimacy in Warren questioning your judgement when you decided to pose nude, than in you questioning the fact that she has Native American heritage.
    ============================================================================================

    And isn't amazing how the libtards always want to sweep their darlings transgressions under the rug as if nothing ever happened. Ain't happenin' Obama Mama!!

    Keep this fraud's feet to the fire Scott!!! She a typical hypocritical liberal dirtbag fraud. Keeping pounding on her to COME CLEAN.

    May 8, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Honestly, this is what Warren shoudl do in response to Brown's nonsense...especially in light of the GOP/Teatrolls' love for stealing Democratic messaging (e.g., Scott Walker in WI stole Obama's "Forward" theme in the past few days for an advertisement...not to mention McCain co-opting the "hope and change" theme in 2008)....repeat after me, Liz:

    "That's right. I have Native American blood....and I'm here to take my country back."

    Let's see how the sniveling message-stealers in the GOP like that one.

    May 8, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. mike

    Just remember the Tea Party put him in office and it's up to the rest of us to vote him out.

    May 8, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Another Day in the RW Idiot Mines

    "Warren won't commit to being Cherokee blood. She either is Cherokee descendant or not."

    Are you deliberately being an idiotic troll or can you not read?

    "The New England Historic Genealogical Society provided CNN with initial research last week, showing several members of Warren's maternal family claiming Cherokee heritage. The Native American link extends to Warren's great-great-great grandmother O.C. Sarah Smith, who is said to be described as Cherokee in an 1894 marriage license application. NEHGS gathered that information through a 2006 family newsletter, and says the original application cannot be located."

    May 8, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    Claudia, Houston, Tx - Oh please, from a man who posed nude, give me a break
    ================================================================
    All above board and legal. Warren has to prove she isn't a total fraud that used this to her advantage. Warren speaks with forked tongue!! Come clean Lyin' Fraud.

    May 8, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Are you deliberately being an idiotic troll or can you not read?"

    The former. Some don't read the articles, it's true...they just have an autonomic reverse peristalsis response to the headline and proceed to vomit talking opints that were triggered in their corner of the hivemind. Others, however, bank on people not reading the article and going straight to the comment section...so they post things directly contrary to the facts in the article in hopes it misinforms the discussion.

    May 8, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Moderate Mom

    Oh please, this post is so full of errors as to be ridiculous. Let's start with the claims of the great-great-great grandmother being a Cherokee. First, the people that claimed they had found proof have now backed off. While the son of the woman in question seemingly listed his mother as a Cherokee when he applied for a marriage license in Oklahoma in 1894, this is from an electronic copy of the application. The original can't be found. Second, the marriage certificate of the woman in question has been found. It does not identify her as Cherokee. Third, the woman in question has been found in Tennessee census records from 1830, 1840 and 1860. They all list her race as white. Fourth, there are not numerous members of her maternal family "claiming Cherokee heritage". There is one aunt, who is active with a Native American Museum. Last time I looked, volunteering with an organization doesn't make you anything but a volunteer.

    What has now been found, however, is that the husband of the great-great-great grandmother (Ms. Warren's sole hope of proving any link to Native American ancestry), the man that would be Ms. Warren's great-great-great grandfather, was a member of the Tennessee Militia unit that helped round up the Cherokee in Georgia and deliver them to Ross Landing, the starting point of the Trail of Tears.

    So, it appears that not only is Ms. Warren most likely not a Cherokee in any form or fashion, but her family lineage actually points back to oppression of the Cherokee. If that's not a slap in the face from karma, I don't know what is.

    May 8, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. Myviewis

    @Moderate Mom – thank you for info, I read similar info. Yes, Warren would be part of a family that was abusive to Cherokee. Perhaps Warren should apologize for her family's bad actions towards Cherokee.

    May 8, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Republican morons like to dredge up non issues to run on , that's why Dem landslide coming.

    May 8, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Is Mitt a Git?

    Regardless of the facts and Brown's yammering about them, This is MA, a blue state–and Brown was an experiment that went wrong. Warren will win, no matter what her heritage is.

    May 8, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
1 2