Warren knocks Obama, teases 2020 bid

Posted at 9:07 AM, May 01, 2017

Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered an unsubtle criticism of former President Barack Obama in an interview published Monday, saying the former president and other politicians are out of touch with "the lived experiences of most Americans."

Warren was interviewed by The Guardian while promoting her new book, "This Fight Is Our Fight," amid heavy speculation about her plans for the 2020 presidential election. That speculation was only fanned over the weekend when President Donald Trump, at a rally in Pennsylvania, suggested that Warren would likely be his 2020 opponent. Speaking to the newspaper, Warren first looked back, attempting to diagnose Democrats' failures in the 2016 election.

"I think President Obama, like many others in both parties, talks about a set of big national statistics that look shiny and great but increasingly have giant blind spots. That GDP, unemployment, no longer reflect the lived experiences of most Americans. And the lived experiences of most Americans (are) that they are being left behind in this economy," Warren said. "Worse than being left behind, they're being kicked in the teeth."

Warren has been increasingly critical of Obama and members of her own party as Democrats have grasped for a path forward under the Trump administration. Last week, after it was reported Obama would deliver a paid speech reminiscent of the speaking engagements that undercut Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, Warren said she was "troubled" by his decision.

In her interview with The Guardian, Warren also stepped into the debate over abortion that has roiled Democratic politics lately -- whether the party should be more accepting of candidates who oppose abortion rights in an effort to become competitive in traditionally conservative areas.

Another leading liberal voice, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has helped drive this debate. He campaigned for a mayoral candidate in Nebraska who was supportive of polices restricting abortion, and asked about it by NPR, Sanders said, "we have got to appreciate where people come just can't exclude people who disagree with us on one issue."

But Warren -- perhaps foreshadowing a fault line for Democrats in 2020 -- told the Guardian she would "probably not" endorse a candidate who opposed abortion rights.

"Let me be clear. Look, I'm pro-choice, I'm strongly pro-choice, I've been in these fights forever and forever and at the federal level this is powerfully important to me," she said. "I get that not everyone in the Democratic party agrees with me, but I am in this fight all the way."

Warren was also asked if the reasons she decided not to run for president in 2016 -- among them, concern for her family -- would prevent her from a 2020 bid, and didn't say no. She told the Guardian, "I said I'm in this fight, there's no pause about that. I can take whatever somebody wants to throw at me. It is harder when things get thrown at your family but that's become the reality of 21st-century politics."