At a town hall meeting with voters at a Petersborough, New Hampshire, bowling alley on Friday, a voter confronted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about her past claims of Native American ancestry in reference to her asserting she was part Cherokee throughout her career.
"What do I say to my Native American relatives regarding the confusion around the Native American ancestry issue?" the woman asked Warren who a DNA test showed is approximately 1/1024th Native American.
The Massachusetts senator responded, "I grew up in Oklahoma, and my three older brothers and I learned about our family same way most people do, from our mom and from our dad. My family is very important to me and that's why many years ago I sometimes identified as Native American."
Warren denies Native American claims boosted her career
Warren went on to note that her asserting Native American ancestry did not help her career.
"Boston Globe did a big investigation about this, gosh what about a year and a half ago, never had anything to do with any job I ever got or any benefit, but even so, I shouldn't have done it," she told the voter.
However, Warren did describe herself once as a Cherokee native in a cookbook titled, "Pow Wow Chow," where she submitted a recipe for Mexican oatmeal soup.
It is worth noting that Cherokee natives do not have a strong presence in Mexico.
'I am not a person of color'
Throughout the campaign, the progressive Democrat has faced criticisms that she is inauthentic, a charge that some political analysts say is her greatest vulnerability.
"If she's the nominee and says, 'Trump's dishonest,' that's just the immediate counter: You're dishonest about the most fundamental thing, who you were and how you got to your positions," Republican strategist Chuck Warren (who has no relation to the candidate) told Politico in August.
Warren seems to recognize that her lack of candor about her background is affecting other areas of her presidential campaign, which polls show has been declining in recent months. For instance, Warren has been criticized for failing to accurately disclose how she intends to pay for her litany of proposals, including Medicare For All, which she is now downplaying in her stump speeches.
The Massachusetts senator is now apologizing for having fudged her ancestry.
"I am not a person of color, I am not a citizen of a tribe, and I have apologized for confusion I've caused on tribal citizenship, tribal sovereignty and for any harm that I've caused," Warren said to the New Hampshire voter who pressed her on the issue.
"Now before I go any further, I want to say this. Like anyone who's been honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am very sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot and I am grateful for the many conversations that we've had together," Warren said.