In an interview broadcast on Saturday, New Mexico Democrat Deb Haaland blasted President Donald Trump for using “Pocahontas” as a slur, Mediaite reports.
Trump has referred to Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” ridiculing her claims of Native American ancestry. In 2018, the Massachusetts Democrat took a DNA test, which showed that she is possibly one-1,024th Native American, according to The Hill.
Rolling Stone described the blunder as a “fiasco,” and Chuck Hoskin, the Cherokee Nation secretary of state, accused her of “dishonoring” indigenous people, and undermining their interests. The media took issue with the controversy as well, prompting President Trump to double down with insults.
He has since, however, shifted his focus away from Warren. Now, she is one of the leading Democratic candidates, and the commander-in-chief is renewing his attacks.
“I did the Pocahontas thing, maybe it can be revived,” Trump said at a recent rally, announcing new attacks on the Massachusetts senator.
According to Haaland, who is one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, the nickname Trump had coined for Warren is a “racial slur” insulting to Native Americans.
“It is unfortunate that he continues to use racial slurs against native Americans when attacking her,” Haaland said, proceeding to explain that she believes Trump is insulting Democrats running against him because he realizes that polls show him losing the election.
“He probably knows that he is set to lose this election, he’s underwater in several handfuls of states right now and you know, look, she is one of the front runners, of course he is going to attack her.”
Haaland also discussed Native American issues as they pertain to the Democratic primary. She pointed out that Democrats have a chance to reach out to indigenous communities during the upcoming Native American forum in Iowa.
“I think we can all work extremely hard to make sure that the Indian vote is in force this coming election,” she said, adding that Native Americans will “make sure that we have a say in who our next president is.”
As Business Insider pointed out, Trump has made a habit of nicknaming perceived political enemies. The president has deployed dozens of insulting nicknames to individuals across the political spectrum, and some of them have been deemed racist.
Trump’s insults have not, it seems, left an impact on Democratic primary voters, since Warren is one of the leading primary contenders, trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in most polls.
As The Washington Post reported, following a strong performance in the debates, Warren surged in the polls, managing to surpass Sanders in some.