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Elizabeth Warren: 'I Misunderstood the Question' About Harvard Listing Me as a Minority


• "I can’t deny my heritage. I can’t and I won’t." • Admits campaign could be in trouble

Elizabeth Warren acknowledged Thursday she is concerned about her Senate campaign following weeks of controversy surrounding her Native American heritage.

Warren, who's looking to oust Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), admitted this week for the first time that she told Harvard University about her ancestry -- contrasting her initial claim that she was unaware until recently that the school had listed her as a minority professor.

She told reporters on April 27 she only became aware of Harvard's listing after reading a report in the Boston Herald. In a new interview with the Boston Globe, she said she "misunderstood the question."

In the interview, she reiterated again the law schools at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania hired her because of her abilities, not because of her heritage, and said she only told them of her minority status after she was hired.

Admitting for the first time that she's worried about the impact of the controversy on her campaign, she told the Globe: “Of course I’m concerned."

“I decided to run for the Senate because the middle class has been hammered and Washington doesn’t get it. I want to talk about Scott Brown’s voting record," she said. “He has worked hard to make this campaign about anything else, even my heritage, and he’s not spending time on what Massachusetts voters are concerned about."

Warren has frequently cited family lore as evidence of her Native American heritage, despite a lack of documented evidence. Revealing more details of her family's background, she said her parents eloped because of tensions their two families over her mother's ancestry.

“In the 1930s, when my parents got married, these were hard issues,’’ she told the Globe. “My father’s family so objected to my mother’s Native American heritage that my mother told me they had to elope.

"As kids, my brothers and I knew about that. We knew about the differences between our two families. And we knew how important my mother’s heritage was to her. This was real in my life. I can’t deny my heritage. I can’t and I won’t. That would be denying who my mother was, who my family was, how we lived, and I won’t do it.’’

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