The Friday fundraising email — which never mentioned Biden directly — marked a shift for Warren’s team, which initially ignored Biden’s “angry” comment even as her allies suggested the former vice president’s language was gendered.
“Over and over, we are told that women are not allowed to be angry,” Warren wrote in the missive. “It makes us unattractive to powerful men who want us to be quiet.”
She continued: “Well, I’m angry and I own it. I’m angry on behalf of everyone who is hurt by Trump’s government, our rigged economy, and business as usual.”
Asked about the email on Saturday, Warren offered a much less pointed response, saying that she’s long talked about “anger,” including last year during the hearings for Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
When pressed on whether she thought Biden would label a male candidate “angry,” she demurred.
“Why don’t you ask him that?” Warren said.
Warren’s muted Saturday remarks seemed a return to her campaign strategy of declining to attack Democratic primary opponents directly, even as her surrogates hit back against critics.
Warren’s campaign declined to comment when asked about Biden’s criticism earlier in the week. And she deflected questions about his attacks Thursday during a brief session with reporters traveling with her on a three-day swing through North and South Carolina.
“I’m out here to talk about why I’m in this race,” Warren said after a town hall in Raleigh, when asked broadly about Biden’s criticism. She then pivoted to her stump speech, adding, “We’ve got a country that’s working great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top.”
Warren’s response comes as the two contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination have begun to take increasingly sharp tones with one another, departing from contrasts over policy and veering toward comments on character.
Biden leveled a slew of attacks against Warren in a Medium post last week. He accused her of taking a “my way or the highway” approach to policy and suggested she was “condescending to millions of Democrats” whose views differ from hers.
Warren hasn’t responded to those parts of his attack.
Biden’s campaign said the vice president penned his Medium post after Warren said that he is “running in the wrong primary.” She offered the comment after Biden criticized her $20.5 trillion Medicare-for-all funding plan as “mathematical gymnastics.”
Biden’s campaign rejects any notion that the former vice president is making a gendered attack, saying that he has used “angry” to describe men in the past, including Republican Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) and the late senator John McCain (Ariz.).
“The strong women in my life are angry, they get angry,” Biden said in a CNN interview with Dana Bash. Biden rejected suggestions that his comment was meant in a sexist way. “That’s nothing that I did, or intended to do.”
Warren’s three-day trip through the Carolinas focused on wooing nonwhite voters and featured more freewheeling events than her typical campaign fare.
In a live interview with Angela Rye, a former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, Warren was pressed to name three black leaders she would appoint to her cabinet. She responded by listing former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, an unnamed president of a historically black college or university, and Melody Barnes, a lawyer and former aide to President Barack Obama and the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.).
She also responded to criticism from Hillary Clinton, who said that her Medicare-for-all plan will never pass. “You don’t get what you don’t fight for,” Warren said.