Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said Friday that she didnâ€™t reveal until this week that she told past employers about her Native American ancestry because she needed more time to recall actions and events of years ago.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, the Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate also addressed in greater detail other questions related to her family heritage, which she has not documented. She spoke on the eve of the Democratic State Convention in Springfield, Mass., where she was expected on Saturday to receive the endorsement of delegates in her bid to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown.
Warren has always maintained that she learned of her heritage through family lore. In the interview, she detailed further what she and her brothers had been told by their parents, the late Don and Pauline Herring.
“My mom and dad were deeply in love,” said Warren, who was raised in Oklahoma. My father wanted to marry my mother, his parents objected, because she was part-Cherokee and part-Delaware.”
“My parents eloped, in order to marry. Itâ€™s something my brothers and I grew up with. We always understood the difference, between our fatherâ€™s family and our motherâ€™s family,” she said.
She never sought proof of ancestry, Warren added, because she had not felt it necessary.
“My mother was proud of who she was, and it was an important part of who she was. Any my mother is an important part of me.”
Earlier this week, Warrenâ€™s campaign issued a statement in which she acknowledged, for the first time, that she had told Harvard and her previous employer, the University of Pennsylvania, of her Native American heritage, but only after she had been hired by both schools.
The statement appeared to represent a shift from her earlier stance that she only learned that Harvard had once touted her minority status when she read a story in the Boston Herald in April.
“Youâ€™re asking about things that happened 15, 20, 25 years ago or even longer,” she said. “I wanted to go back and really think through these long, long ago events.”
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