Elizabeth Warren campaign, challenged on Native American heritage claims, ‘digging up some sort of evidence to appease you’

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Massachusetts senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren described herself in law-school professional directories as a Native American minority from 1986 to 1995.

The white Democratic candidate has so far offered no evidence that she is, in fact, part Native American, suggesting that she may have falsified that ethnic credential to advance her academic career in the early affirmative-action era. But “it is true,” a Warren spokeswoman told The Daily Caller on Monday, “and we’re working on digging up some sort of evidence to appease you.”

Another Warren spokeswoman shot back at the campaign of incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown, whom Warren is challenging for the senate seat once held by the late Ted Kennedy.

“If Scott Brown has questions about Elizabeth Warren’s well-known qualifications — from her high marks as a teacher to her nationally recognized work on bankruptcy and the pressures on middle class families — he ought to ask them directly instead of hiding behind the nasty insinuations of his campaign and trying to score political points,” spokeswoman Mindy Myers said in a statement.

Harvard University’s decision to promote Warren as a minority faculty member brought the issue front-and-center, but the Boston Herald reported Monday that Warren described herself that way when she taught at the University of Texas and the University of Pennsylvania.

American law school directories listed Warren as a minority professor for nine years before Harvard scooped her up, and Harvard apparently used that information to promote her as a minority, the Herald first reported Friday. (RELATED: More on Elizabeth Warren)

Warren’s campaign claims she did not know Harvard was promoting her as its law school’s only Native American professor and one of only a handful of “minority” faculty members. She does have Native American blood, the campaign said, but didn’t use that to get her job at Harvard.

“The simple fact is that Elizabeth is proud of her heritage,” Warren spokeswoman Alethea Harney said.

In a statement Friday, Brown’s campaign manager said she should apologize. On Monday the campaign told the Herald that Warren should “come clean” about falsely claiming to be a minority. Campaign manager Jim Barnett said that Warren allowed Harvard to conduct a “diversity sham.”

“For years, Harvard has claimed special minority status for Professor Elizabeth Warren as a member of a Native American tribe and their first minority hire,” Barnett said.

“That Warren allowed Harvard to hold her up as an example of their commitment to diversity in the hiring of historically disadvantaged communities is an insult to all Americans who have suffered real discrimination and mistreatment, and Warren should apologize for participating in this hypocritical sham.”

Warren’s campaign has yet to say when it will release the evidence it claims to have to support Warren’s contention that she is part Native American. The campaign also has not responded to TheDC’s question about how much Native American blood she has, or how much is the minimum required before she could legitimately claim that heritage.

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