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She Checked the Box': Scott Brown Jabs at Elizabeth Warren for Native American Claim in First Debate


"Professor Warren claimed she was a Native American, a person of color. As you can see, she is not."

FILE - These 2012 file photos show incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., left, and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, in Boston. Brown and Warren have raised more money from supporters than in any other election in state history, but an Associated Press review of campaign finance reports finds that Warren appears to have better luck attracting money from small donors.Credit: AP

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) questioned Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren's character in their first televised Senate debate on Thursday, slamming her for claiming to be Native American and "checking the box" when she applied for faculty positions at Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania.

"I think character is important," Brown said. "As you know, I think what you're referring to is the fact that Professor Warren claimed she was a Native American, a person of color. As you can see, she is not."

He continued: "That being said, she checked the box. And she had an opportunity actually to make a decision throughout her career when she applied at Penn and Harvard, she checked the box, claiming she was a native American, and, you know, clearly she's not."

Brown added that he had no proof that it was her deceitful application that got her "ahead" in her academic career, however, he called on Warren to release her faculty records to put the matter to rest.

Warren completely sidestepped the issue at first.

"I think that Senator Brown is a nice guy, and that what this race is about is about the issues," she said, then attacked Brown's voting record.

Warren then explained that when she was growing up she was told stories about her Cherokee Indian heritage but never asked for "documentation." She also said she never used her "Native American" heritage to get into school and the universities that hired her didn't know about her heritage until long after they hired her.

"This is about family. I can't -- and won't -- change who I am," she added.

Watch some of the lively televised debate below:

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