Apparently, Donald Trump felt comfortable reverting back to his most derogatory self when speaking to an NRA crowd in Atlanta on Friday. As he has done in the past, the new POTUS waded into the world of racial slurs while describing Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, calling her “Pocahontas,” a deriding jab at her Native American heritage. As the sitting U.S. president publicly derided a fellow politician for her ancestry, the crowd of gun-loving NRA supporters at the Georgia venue yelled and cheered their support.
So what was Trump discussing when he opted to refer to Warren as “Pocahontas”? As NBC News reports, he was discussing the likelihood that Elizabeth Warren (who is admittedly not a Trump fan) would seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, claiming “it might be Pocahontas.” In a further attempt to belittle and begrudge Warren to the throng of cheering and ecstatic NRA supporters, Donald also chose that moment to blast Warren’s stance on gun rights. (Spoiler: The liberal Democratic senator is in favor of common-sense gun-control legislation.)
“She is not big on the NRA.”
As NBC News reports, POTUS Trump didn’t restrict his public attacks on Elizabeth Warren and her heritage; he also launched into a tirade against former President Barack Obama. Trump assured his NRA supporters that “the eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come crashing to an end.”
While Donald Trump’s attack on Elizabeth Warren’s heritage on Friday was shocking coming from a sitting president, it was far from the first time he has called Warren “Pocahontas.” However, prior to Friday’s racially insensitive remark, describing Warren as “Pocahontas” was reserved for the campaign trail and Twitter. At least publicly.
At least once on the campaign trail, Trump even accused Elizabeth Warren of lying about her Native American roots, even calling her racist, despite the fact that he repeatedly referred to the senator as “Pocahontas.”
“She made up her heritage, which I think is racist. I think she’s a racist, actually because what she did was very racist.”
Unfortunately for Senator Warren, while sensible Americans realize that attacking someone based on their racial heritage is inappropriate, Trump isn’t the only U.S. politician to attempt to use her ancestry as leverage against her. While losing his senate seat to Warren in 2012, ex-Mass. Senator Scott Brown accused her of lying about her Native American blood in order to gain an unfair advantage at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. Warren responded by defending herself publicly and winning the senate race. However, even former Senator Brown never dared to call Warren “Pocahontas.”
“I am very proud of my heritage. These are my family stories. This is what my brothers and I were told by my mom and my dad, my mamaw and my papaw. This is our lives. And I’m very proud of it.”
In the past, Senator Warren has responded to Donald Trump’s unprofessional racial attacks against her with both strength and grace.
This time around, however, she has yet to respond.
Despite Donald Trump alluding to a possible 2020 presidential run, Warren has yet to confirm that she will be aiming for the White House in the next presidential race. As Politico reports, less than two weeks before Donald Trump’s latest “Pocahontas” slur, Warren dodged a query about her 2020 plans. The exchange took place on Today with host Savannah Guthrie. Warren was on the show plugging her new book when the host began digging for upcoming election season dirt.
“Senator, a lot of people are saying what this book is about is launching the presidential campaign of Elizabeth Warren. Now, it’s tradition to be coy about that in Washington. But where is your mind about that? Are you 50/50? 80/20? Where do you stand? Are you likely to run?”
Senator Warren refused to take the bait, and despite Trump’s Friday suggestions, declined to confirm or deny her future political plans.
“No. This is not what I’m doing. This is my 11th book. My life’s work is about what’s happening to working families across this country.”
What do you think about Donald Trump calling Senator Warren “Pocahontas”? Is it ever appropriate for a president to attack a fellow politician (or anyone else) because of their heritage?
[Featured Image by Mike Stewart/AP Images]