NATICK, Mass. — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) responded Sunday to President Trump’s taunting attacks on her last week, calling him a “bully” who is targeting “every woman who speaks up.”
“He tries to bully me to shut me up, and he’s also trying to bully women all across this country. He talks about MeToo. It isn’t just me he is going after,” Warren said after an event at Lookout Farm in this Boston suburb that her campaign said was attended by more than 1,400 people. “It’s every woman who speaks up. He thinks we should sit down and shut up. It’s just not going to happen.”
The response fit a pattern of tit-for-tat attacks between Warren and Trump that began in March of 2016, when Warren published a series of tweets and a Facebook post calling him a “loser.” In more recent tiffs, she has tried to use the exchanges to pivot to policy issues and scandals in the Trump administration.
“The best way to deal with a bully is to be strong, resolute, keep doing what you are doing,” she said Sunday. “But don’t take any guff.”
Trump mocked Warren on Thursday at an event in Great Falls, Mont., saying that he would toss a DNA self-testing kit at her if they ever had a debate together. He has mocked her for years for repeating her family’s claim of Native American ancestry and frequently refers to her with the nickname “Pocahontas.”
In an echo of his vow to give money to charity if former president Barack Obama revealed his college and passport records, Trump said he would pay $1 million to the charity of Warren’s choice if the DNA test found she had Native American heritage.
“But we have to do it gently because we’re in the MeToo generation, so we have to be very gentle,” Trump said of his plans to throw the kit to her during a debate. “We will very gently take that kit, and we will slowly toss it, hoping it doesn’t hit her and injure her arm.”
Warren, who had just returned from a congressional visit to Iraq when Trump made the comments, first answered on her campaign Twitter account by refocusing the exchange on the Trump administration’s decision to separate thousands of immigrant children from their parents.
“Hey, @realDonaldTrump: While you obsess over my genes, your Admin is conducting DNA tests on little kids because you ripped them from their mamas & you are too incompetent to reunite them in time to meet a court order,” she wrote last week. “Maybe you should focus on fixing the lives you’re destroying.”
Warren, who is up for reelection in 2018 and has said she is not focused on a possible presidential campaign, continued that theme Sunday.
“Look, Donald Trump wants us to talk about anything other than what is going on in the Trump administration,” Warren said. “I’m two weeks from having been down at the border, and Donald Trump’s administration took children out of the arms of their mothers and is now too incompetent to reunite them. He doesn’t want us talking about that.”
She also mentioned the series of ethics scandals that led to the resignation of Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt and the upcoming fight over the replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
“I seem to be in his head,” Warren said. “I get up every day in the fight for working families, and Donald Trump is not going to knock me off that. He is just not.”
After Trump repeatedly suggested Obama was foreign-born, the then-president released his birth certificate in 2011, proving he was born in Hawaii. Trump did not relent until five years later when, just months before his election as president, he acknowledged that Obama “was born in the United States. Period.”