Election 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Hit Over Fake Native American Ties, Real Casino Deal

Frame from ad targeting Sen. Warren

Hot on the heels of seemingly coming in third in the chaotic Iowa caucuses, Sen. Elizabeth Warren finds herself targeted by a new attack ad raising a different Native American question than the one that has dogged her for years.

An outside group launched the digital ad, titled “Fake, Hypocrite” days before the Democrats’ Iowa caucus debacle and leading into the New Hampshire primary. Here is the ad:

The group behind the ad, which was first reported by The Hill, is the Coalition to Restore American Values. The same group depicted Warren in a Native American headdress in an ad that ran in May 2019, according to the Daily Beast.

Both ads make use of Warren’s decades-long — and false — claim that she has significant Native American heritage. That’s not the only false claim Sen. Warren has made while seeking the presidency. Claiming this heritage gave her an advantage in hiring at the universities where she taught, including Harvard, which paid the former professor a whopping $430,000 in one year while she taught and positioned herself as a champion of the middle class. Harvard reportedly paid her about $700,000 over a two-year span. Warren currently positions herself as a champion of college affordability.

The issue in the new ad is a bill Warren sponsored in the Senate. The ad charges that Warren “always opposed gambling,” but to make up for her past Native American heritage claims, supports this bill on behalf of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and its land claim, land which the tribe would use to build a casino. The ad notes that the tribe’s former chairman went to prison and its lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, ended up there, too. It further alleges that the tribe receives funding from a Malaysian gambling concern that is caught up in a financial scandal in that country. The ad strings a lot of scandal DNA together and links it to Warren.

The Democrat-controlled House passed the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, which would end legal challenges to the tribe’s land claims, thereby presumably allowing them to build a casino, with 47 Republicans in support. But President Trump has come out against the bill. He and some conservative Republicans criticize it as special interest legislation narrowly tailored to allow the casino.

The hard-hitting ad is airing in New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.