The White House is keeping tabs on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), viewing her as a potential challenger to President Trump in the 2020 election.
The Republican National Committee (RNC), in coordination with the White House, is assembling a research file on Warren and other possible 2020 opponents and frequently circulates memos critical of her to reporters.
White House aides, meanwhile, are closely following the senator’s criticism of the president and have aggressively hit back in the media.
When The Hill published Warren’s criticism last month of Trump’s decision to drop America’s largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan, the White House press office quickly responded with a rebuttal — an unusual level of attention for a single senator.
“As somebody who is probably, in the hearts and minds of liberal activists, a leader of the party, that voice carries some weight, and we have to respond,” said one White House official who requested anonymity to describe internal thinking. “We don’t think ignoring her is the right approach.”
Trump revived one of his favorite — and most inflammatory — insults of Warren last month, calling her “Pocahontas” during a speech to the National Rifle Association, a reference to Warren’s claims about her Native American ancestry.
“I have a feeling that in the next election, you’re going to be swamped with candidates,” he said. “It may be Pocahontas, remember that.”
The 2020 presidential election could feature one of the largest Democratic fields in decades, with Warren seen by many as a likely candidate.
Warren has refused to engage in speculation about her plans.