Barely 100 days into his presidential term, Donald Trump is already thinking ahead to 2020 – and the chance to revive a racial slur against a possible opponent, Elizabeth Warren.
Friday, Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to give a speech before the National Rifle Association since 1983 and, amid his other remarks, he predicted that his opponent in the next presidential election might be Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Or, as he calls her, “Pocahontas.”
“I have a feeling in the next election you are going to be swamped with candidates,” Trump said in his NRA speech. “But you’re not going to be wasting your time. You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over, and you are going to say ‘no sir, no thank you,’ ‘no ma’am.’ Perhaps — it may be Pocahontas, remember that.”
Trump began referring to Warren as “Pocahontas” in 2016 after she became a particularly prolific critic of his during the presidential election. The name is a mocking reference to a controversy from Warren’s 2012 senate race against Republican Scott Brown, when it came out that she had previously claimed to have some Cherokee ancestry and that, while teaching at Harvard, the university referred to her as Native American while touting its diversity efforts.
For her part, Warren says she was unaware of Harvard’s actions, and that she never received scholarships or work due to any purported ancestry, which was a matter of family lore. Meanwhile, the historical figure Pocahontas was a member of the Powhatan people, not Cherokee.
Warren has not announced whether she intends to run for president in 2020, but Trump assured the NRA that she “is not big” for the organization, just in case.