Sen. Elizabeth Warren is preparing to bring a populist message to Iowa voters just days after taking her first major step toward launching a campaign for president.
The Massachusetts Democrat told reporters on Wednesday that she’s planning to visit the state with the nation’s first presidential caucuses after being sworn in on Thursday to a second Senate term.
Warren said that Washington “works great for the wealthy and the well-connected” but that it needs to work for everybody else.
“This is a moment in America where people really want to get the focus back on the points that touch their lives, about things like student loans and what it costs to get a prescription filled,” Warren said after a swearing-in ceremony for state lawmakers at the Massachusetts Statehouse.
Warren on Monday announced she’s launching an exploratory committee for president.
She is the most prominent Democrat yet in what is expected to be a crowded field of fellow contenders hoping to retake the White House from Republican President Donald Trump in 2020.
The former Harvard law professor made a name for herself a decade ago with calls for greater consumer protections, which led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under former Democratic President Barack Obama.
Warren said she plans to run on many of those same basic economic issues, which she said have been made even more precarious by Washington politics.
“I believe that Washington is corrupt,” she said. “I see it firsthand.”
Warren was been a favorite target of Trump, who frequently calls her “Pocahontas” – a reference to Warren’s claims of Native American heritage. Warren in October released a DNA test meant to bolster those claims, but the test seemed only to generate more controversy for Warren. The test indicated that Warren likely had Native American in her bloodline, though the ancestor probably lived six to 10 generations ago. Some critics complained that the genetic analysis cheapened the identities of tribal members with deeper ties.
Trump told Fox News Channel’s “All-American New Year” in an interview Monday that he hopes Warren runs.
“We’ll see how she does,” he said. “I wish her well. I hope she does well. I’d love to run against her.”
Warren plans to start her swing through Iowa on Friday with a stop at an organizing event in Council Bluffs followed by similar events on Saturday in Sioux City and Des Moines and a roundtable discussion in Storm Lake.
Warren also defended her decision to host a live Instagram event on New Year’s Eve from the kitchen of her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The live feed showed her drinking a beer, petting her dog and taking questions from viewers — an event some derided as awkward.
“It’s one more way to be able just to invite people into your home. I wish I could just open the door and have lots of folks in, but this is a way to do it,” she said, adding that her beer of choice is Michelob Ultra, what she called “the club soda of beers.”