Transcript: Elizabeth Warren Speaks After Suspending Campaign

Sen. Elizabeth Warren acknowledges supporters outside her home in Cambridge, Thursday, March 5, 2020, before speaking to the media about her decision to suspend her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Steven Senne/AP)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren acknowledges supporters outside her home in Cambridge, Thursday, March 5, 2020, before speaking to the media about her decision to suspend her presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Steven Senne/AP)

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday announced she would suspend her presidential campaign. The decision comes two days after her disappointing showing in the Super Tuesday primaries, where she finished third in her home state and failed to pick up a significant number of delegates.

Warren spoke with reporters outside of her Cambridge just after noon on Thursday.

Here's a full transcript of that press conference:

Elizabeth Warren: So, I announced this morning that I am suspending my campaign for president. I say this with a deep sense of gratitude for every single person who got in this fight, every single person who tried on a new idea. Every single person who just moved a little in their notion of what a president of the United States should look like.

I will not be running for president in 2020, but I guarantee I will stay in the fight for the hardworking folks across this country who've gotten the short end of the stick over and over. That's been the fight of my life and it will continue to be so. So, anyone have a question?

Question: What guidance would you give to your supporters who don't know who to support now.

Warren: Well, let's take a deep breath and spend a little time on that. We don't have to decide that this minute.

Question: And I wonder what your message would be to the women and girls who feel like we're left with two white men to decide between?

Warren: I know one of the hardest parts of this is all those pinky promises and all those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years. That's going to be hard.

Question: Senator, will you be making an endorsement today? We know that you spoke with both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders yesterday.

Warren: Not today. Not today. I need some space around this, and I want to take a little time to think a little more. I've been I've been spending a lot of time right now on the question of suspending, and also making sure that this works as best we can for our staff, for our team, for our our volunteers.

Question: So it could be coming, but just not right now?

Warren: Not right now. Not right now.

Question: I know that your campaign manager Roger Lau said on the staff call today that he had no regrets. Do you feel the same way?

Warren: Oh, I do. I have no regrets at all. This has been the honor of a lifetime. Ten years ago, I was teaching a few blocks from here and talking about what was broken in America, and ideas for how to fix it. And, pretty much, nobody wanted to hear it.

And I've had a chance to get out there and talk with millions of people. And, you know, we have ideas now that we talk about that we just weren't talking about even a year ago; a two cent wealth tax, and universal child care that could be real --we could make it happen — and canceling student loan debt for 43 million Americans, and raising Social Security payments.

Those are life-changing events for people. And we could actually do this. So, I'm delighted to have been here and honored to have had this chance.

Question: What happened here in Massachusetts?

Warren: You know, I was told at the beginning of this whole undertaking that there are two lanes, a progressive lane that Bernie Sanders is the incumbent for, and a moderate lane that Joe Biden is the incumbent for. And there's no room for anyone else in this. I thought that wasn't right. But evidently, I was wrong.

Question: Senator, why do you think you weren't able to resonate more with voters and win any states?

Warren: As I said, I think that, I was told, when I first got into this, there are two lanes. And I thought it was possible that that wasn't the case, that there was more room and more room to run another kind of campaign. But evidently that wasn't the case.

Question: Senator, was it especially painful to lose your home state, Massachusetts?

Warren: No. I am deeply grateful to the people of Massachusetts. Look, back in 2012, they took a chance on someone who had never run for public office before. They ousted a very popular incumbent Republican senator to give me a chance to stand up on a bigger platform and fight for their families. And I am deeply grateful for that.

They returned me to the Senate in 2018, and I'm deeply grateful for that. They're the reason I'm in this fight and they're the reason I am able to stand here today

Question: Senator Warren, two questions. I saw you vote two days afo for yourself. Could you, two things, reflect a little bit about what was like for you? And then the other question is, could you talk a little bit about the role that you think that gender played in this campaign?

Warren: So, it was — I stood at that voting booth, and I looked down and I saw my name on the ballot. And I thought, "Wow, kiddo, you're not in Oklahoma anymore." That it really was a moment of thinking about how my mother and dad, if they were still here, would feel about this. I had gotten a long email from my nephew and how proud his dad, my brother, is, and how they all had their plans to vote, and had met other people. It is these long ties for that moment standing in the booth. I miss my mom and my daddy.

Gender in this race, you know, that is the trap question for every woman. If you say, "Yeah, there was sexism in this race," everyone says,"Whiner!" And if you say, "No, there was no sexism," about a bazillion women think, "What planet do you live on?" I promise you this: I'll have a lot more to say on that subject later on.

Question: Senator, [do you have] advice [for] your supporters right now looking for a campaign? What is your advice to them? Obviously, I know you're not endorsing anybody, but what is your advice to them.

Warren: Let's let's take a deep breath and think about this for a little bit longer before we all settle in.

Question: Senator, it's been a long two days for you, or multiple days, to make this decision. What are you thinking about? What informed — what was the final thought?

Warren: You know, a big part of it is to think about all the people who turned their lives upside down to be part of this campaign. All of the staffers who moved and worked long hours, gave up jobs to be here, took leaves from school to think about what works for them.

This isn't just about me. This is a whole lot of people who were a big part of this, and also our volunteers, to try to think through. For all those people who already have invested so many hours and so much of their heart, and the phone calls, and the door knocks, and the coming to the office, and help clean things up, and keep it all going.

And, thinking about all those pinky promises. You know, I take those pinky promises seriously. So those were the things I needed to think through, and how we make all those pieces work, at least as best we can, for everyone.

And one last thing. It's about all the people who are affected by all the issues I've talked about. Whether they got involved in my fight or someone else's fight or even not at all. But, however we talk about this, there still is a trillion-and-a-half dollars of student loan debt outstanding. There are still tens of millions of people across this country who — one bad medical diagnosis and they're upside down financially. There are still mommas and daddies all across this country who can't finish their education, can't take on jobs, because they can't find access to decent childcare that they can afford.

And I had to think a lot about where is the best place for me to go to keep fighting those fights because those problems don't disappear when I stand here in front of you. Those problems go on. And my job is to keep fighting and to fight this smartly and effectively as I can.



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