Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave her strongest denial yet of any interest in a 2016 presidential run Tuesday morning, saying she is not running, will not run, and has not even considered the possibility.
Appearing on NBC’s “TODAY,” Warren was asked three times and ruled out a run each time, despite a progressive movement to draft her into the race.
“I’m not running and I’m not going to run,” she said. “I’m in Washington. I’ve got this really great job and a chance to make a difference on things that really matter.”
Warren has previously often kept her denials to the present tense, giving progressives hoping to draft her some hope that she had not ruled out a future run.
Host Savannah Guthrie then asked Warren if she was “unequivocally and categorically” ruling out a run. “I’m not running,” Warren affirmed.
And finally, Guthrie asked – at the possibility of “beating a dead horse here” – “did you ever even consider, entertain the possibility of running for president?”
Warren’s response: A flat “no.”
The liberal groups MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, along with the super PAC Ready for Warren, have been hoping to convince Warren she has enough support to challenge presumed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination.
But the drafters were undeterred by Warren’s comment. ”Ready for Warren is more encouraged than ever before that we can convince Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016,” Ready for Warren campaign manager Erica Sagrans said Tuesday. ”If working families are going to have a any shot at the fighting chance Warren believes they deserve, we need Warren in this race … We can’t afford not to have her voice in the 2016 race, and in the weeks ahead we will only see support for a Warren candidacy continue to grow.”
MoveOn spokesperson Brian Stewart said Warren’s latest comments change nothing. “Sen. Warren has repeatedly made clear that she doesn’t plan to run – that’s why we’re running a draft campaign. We are calling on her to run because we believe our country will be better off if she does,” he said.
Democracy for America’s Neil Sroka agreed. “While the interview on the TODAY show demonstrates that we still have more work to do, the effort to encourage Sen. Warren to change her mind and enter the 2016 race is only growing stronger by the day – just yesterday, two big labor and environmental leaders joined our fight; last week the Draft Warren effort received the support of Senator Warren’s hometown paper; and we’re continuing to build our volunteer networks out in the critical early states of New Hampshire and Iowa,” Sroka said.
In the interview, Warren also suggested that Democrats skeptical of Clinton need to “give her a chance” to declare a presidential run ”and to lay out what she wants to run on” before passing judgement.