Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) would not say she would serve a full six-year term if re-elected to the U.S. Senate under repeated questioning by NBC’s Chuck Todd, the implication being Warren couldn’t commit since she’s a likely 2020 presidential contender.
Warren said in multiple interviews airing Sunday she is not running for president in 2020, and she told Todd the same because of her focus on getting re-elected to the U.S. Senate this November.
“If you win re-election this year, are you going to pledge to serve a full six-year term?” Todd asked.
“So, look, I am not running for President of the United States,” Warren said. “I am running for the United States Senate, 2018, Massachusetts, woo hoo.”
She went on to say that the Democratic Party couldn’t pay attention to major issues every four years, referring to presidential election years.
“It’s not only about the election in 2018, where I think we do need to be laser-focused,” Warren said. “It’s about the fights every single day. I’m in those fights. That’s where I’m focused.”
“I take it as a no? You’re not pledging to serve your full six-year term if you win re-election?” Todd asked.
“I already told you, I have no intention of running for … president,” Warren said.
“I don’t mean to pick on you about this,” Todd said.
“Yes, you do,” Warren said, laughing.
“But you know how many people have said that over the years? Two years before, and then of course have ended up running for president,” Todd said.
One famous example was then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who said in 2006 on “Meet the Press” that “I won’t run” for president. He announced his White House bid a year later.
“You see why a lot of people aren’t going to believe that answer?” Todd asked.
“Look. What I’m telling you is that I am in these fights every day for the people of Massachusetts and for the people across this country,” Warren said. “I am in these fights, and I am in this fight to retain my Senate seat in 2018. That’s where I’m focused. That’s where I’m going to stay focused. I’m not running for president.”
“So no pledge, though, on the six years?” Todd asked.
“I am not running for president,” Warren said.
“Duly noted,” Todd said, laughing.