For decades, Elizabeth Warren claimed to be a Native American. She shamelessly used her ‘race’ whenever she thought she could benefit from it. It was only recently undeniably disproven. However, Warren doesn’t seem to have learned from being caught.
Or, perhaps she sincerely doesn’t know the difference between truth and fiction?
There is definitely an argument for that claim given that it is a favorite for her to tell a story of being fired from her teaching position because she became pregnant at age 22.
After a number of outlets disputed the claim, Warren doubled-down during an interview on CBS News Monday evening, and stuck by her assertion that she was fired after getting pregnant.
However, now the school Board of Education involved in the story has released the details of her work… and disproven another tall tale spun by Warren.
In an exclusive interview with CBS News on Monday evening, Warren said she stands by her characterizations of why she left the job.
“All I know is I was 22 years old, I was 6 months pregnant, and the job that I had been promised for the next year was going to someone else. The principal said they were going to hire someone else for my job,” she said.
Warren has repeatedly said that her principal “showed [her] the door” after discovering she was pregnant at the end of the 1971 school year. The episode is pivotal to her life story, in that it dashed her dreams of remaining a public school teacher and launched her reluctantly down the path to public service.
Fresh out of the University of Houston, Warren was hired by the Riverdale Board of Education in New Jersey as a speech pathologist for the 1970-1971 school year. Since she began her campaign for the presidency, she has repeatedly said that she was “shown the door” after just a year as a result of her pregnancy.
“By the end of the first year I was visibly pregnant, and the principal did what principals did in those days: wished me luck, showed me the door, and hired someone else for the job,” she said at a town hall in Oakland in June.
The “showed me the door” anecdote came up often on the campaign trail until recently. And now some outlets have found a 2007 interview Warren gave in which she presents the story in a different light.
In an interview that year at the University of California, Berkeley, Warren gave the first known public account of her time at Riverdale.
“I worked in a public school system with the children with disabilities. I did that for a year, and then that summer I didn’t have the education courses, so I was on an ’emergency certificate,’ it was called,” Warren said in 2007. “I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out for me.’ I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years.”
Asked by CBS News why she told the story differently at Berkeley a decade ago, Warren said her life since her election to the Senate in 2012 caused her to “open up” about her past. “After becoming a public figure I opened up more about different pieces in my life and this was one of them. I wrote about it in my book when I became a U.S. Senator,” she said in a statement from her campaign.
However, the Washington Free Beacon has released a copy of the contract Warren was given, approving a second-year teaching assignment.
The Free Beacon reported:
Minutes of an April 21, 1971, Riverdale Board of Education meeting obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show that the board voted unanimously on a motion to extend Warren a “2nd year” contract for a two-days-per-week teaching job.
That job is similar to the one she held the previous year, her first year of teaching. Minutes from a board meeting held two months later, on June 16, 1971, indicate that Warren’s resignation was “accepted with regret.”
Warren’s claim that she was dismissed after her first year of teaching because she was pregnant has become a cornerstone of her stump speeches. She has used it to both explain her jump from teaching into the legal world as well as to showcase the difficulties that women face in the workplace. The principal of the school she worked at in the early 1970s, Warren has said, “showed [her] the door” at the end of the school year because she was “visibly pregnant.”
Warren’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the board of education records. [You can read the document below]
The documents emerge at a time when Warren’s campaign has surged. Ahead of the fourth Democratic debate next week, the Massachusetts senator is running neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden. The RealClearPolitics polling average shows her trailing Biden by just 0.3 percent nationally and leading him by 2.7 percent in Iowa.
Boosted by a strong campaign apparatus and a bevy of detailed policy proposals, Warren has succeeded in positioning herself as the progressive choice for Democratic voters. In recent weeks, she has appeared to elbow out Bernie Sanders, her chief rival for the party’s most liberal voters. Sanders suffered a heart attack last week, a setback that temporarily derailed his campaign.
Warren’s claim about her dismissal from the Riverdale Elementary School came under scrutiny last week when the journalist Meagan Day of Jacobin magazine noted that Warren’s story appeared to have changed over the years. Day pointed to a 2007 interview Warren gave at the University of California-Berkeley in which she suggested that she left her teaching job after realizing the graduate school classes required for her to obtain a teaching certificate weren’t going to “work out for [her].”
“I went back to graduate school and took a couple of courses in education and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out for me,’” Warren said in the 2007 interview. “I was pregnant with my first baby, so I had a baby and stayed home for a couple of years, and I was really casting about, thinking, ‘What am I going to do?’ My husband’s view of it was, ‘Stay home. We have children, we’ll have more children, you’ll love this.’ And I was very restless about it.”
Warren’s book, A Fighting Chance, published a year after she was sworn in as a senator in 2013, tells something of a different story, though the two aren’t necessarily incompatible. “By the end of the school year, I was pretty obviously pregnant,” Warren wrote in the book. “The principal did what I think a lot of principals did back then—wished me good luck, didn’t ask me back the next school year, and hired someone else for the job.”
Warren worked as a speech pathologist at Riverdale Elementary School in New Jersey during the 1970-71 school year.
The Board of Education minutes show a part-time contract for her first year of teaching received unanimous approval during an August 1970 board meeting. Meeting minutes from November 1970 confirm Warren’s account that she was working on an “emergency” teaching certificate, showing unanimous approval “that a provisional certificate be requested for Mrs. Elizabeth Warren in speech therapy.”
Toward the end of Warren’s first year on the job, in April 1971, the board approved her contract for the following school year, the meeting minutes show. Two months later, the meeting minutes indicate that Warren had tendered her resignation.
“The resignation of Mrs. Elizabeth Warren, speech correctionist effective June 30, 1971 was accepted with regret,” the June 16, 1971, minutes say.
There are no further mentions of Warren in Riverdale Board of Education meeting minutes, according to a spokesman for the board.
Scrutiny of Warren’s explanation for her jump from teaching to law comes months after the Massachusetts senator steadied her campaign after a rocky start.
In October, two months before her campaign launch, Warren executed a botched attempt to put questions about her claims to Native American heritage behind her by releasing the results of a DNA test. The results, which showed she has minimal Cherokee ancestry, did little to quell the controversy.
She went on to issue a public apology for taking the test in the first place.
“I have listened, and I have learned a lot. And I’m grateful for the many conversations we’ve had together,” Warren told a Native American audience in Iowa in mid-August.
Though many on both sides of the aisle counted her out due to her handling of the issue, Warren has managed not only to bounce back but to climb to the top of the field. Even President Donald Trump, who savaged Warren for her attempt to claim Native American ancestry, has said publicly he regrets drawing attention to her early on given that she has managed to prevail—at least thus far.
“I did the Pocahontas thing,” Trump said to supporters at an August rally. “I hit her really hard and it looked like she was down and out but that was too long ago, I should’ve waited.”