U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren welcomed news that U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California is making a run for the White House in 2020.
“I think this is terrific,” Warren said of Harris’ announcement. “Democrats are full of ideas and full of energy and that’s how we’re going to make real change in this country.”
Harris is the fourth female Democrat to announce a run or establish a committee to explore a campaign for the Democratic nomination, joining Warren, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
Harris, who grew up in Oakland, Calif., and is a daughter of parents from Jamaica and India, is one of the earliest high-profile Democrats to join what is expected to be a crowded field. She made her long-anticipated announcement on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
“I am running for president of the United States,” she said. “And I’m very excited about it.”
Warren’s comments came at the the city’s 49th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast this morning, where she called on President Trump to reopen the federal government and “open it now.”
“This is day 31 — the longest shutdown in American history. And it is entirely unnecessary. The Republicans and the Democrats in the House and Senate had worked out a budget. We want to keep this government open. It is critical that we get our federal workers — all our federal workers — back to work and that they’re getting paid for the work they are doing.”
Parts of the federal government are shut down as a result of a political stalemate with Democrats over Trump’s demand for $5 billion to erect a security wall on the southern border.
“Open the government. That’s what we need to do. That is the urgent moment,” the Cambridge Democrat said. “If he wants to negotiate over immigration reform, I’m all for it. I have supported compromise immigration proposals in the past and I’m sure many others would as well. But open the government. Open it now. People have jobs to do and they should be paid for the work they’re doing. Federal workers are not pawns and they should not be treated as pawns in a political game.”
Warren said she isn’t worried that Harris, a first-term senator and former attorney general of California, will pull voters away from her or dilute her message by espousing issues dear to her heart.
“This is about getting out there and talking about what we believe in,” she said. “It’s about bringing more and more people into the fight. That’s the way we’re going to make real change. I’m delighted.”
Warren’s Capitol Hill colleague and fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey agreed.
“When Elizabeth Warren is speaking she is speaking for everyone who feels they are being left behind. Kamala Harris is going to bring a similar perspective,” Markey said. “All of those voices are going to be needed in order to make sure that Donald Trump doesn’t win a second term, which is his full intent.
“We’ve never had a woman president. Elizabeth Warren would be the first. So would Kamala,” he said. “The glass ceiling is still unbroken in terms of the presidency and I’m proud that Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts is willing to put her name into this contest. Although she has not yet announced her candidacy, her exploratory committee is giving great hope to many people across the country.”
Herald wire services contributed to this report.
This article provided by NewsEdge.