Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren shared an empowering message with young women about their place in politics: They belong, too.
The Massachusetts senator joined CNN on Monday night for a Town Hall addressing young voters about the issues that matter most to them, including sexism on the campaign trail.
Warren recalled her 2012 Senate campaign against Republican Sen. Scott Brown. Though she had support from Democrats at the time who said they wanted her to run against Brown, they were also confident she would lose, she said: “All I can say is, Democrats, get a better message.”
The question came from a young Harvard student who was concerned Warren would get “Hillary’d” as she called it, referring to the ways women candidates tend to be held to higher standards than men, as Hillary Clinton experienced in her 2016 run for president.
Clinton received a number of sexist attacks from Donald Trump on the campaign trail, whose supporters frequently rallied around “lock her up.” Trump on several occasions questioned Clinton’s “stamina,” while also accusing her of playing the “woman card.”
But Warren says sexism has long plagued the political landscape, and she won’t let it stop her. She recalled how some of the media coverage of her earlier campaign focused on what she wore, her hair, and whether or not she smiled enough.
“I didn’t,” she joked.
“One might say you persist,” Warren said. According to Warren, the way forward includes building a grassroots movement and fighting for working class Americans, which she has prioritized in her policy platforms. The senator has outlined progressive proposals to eliminate student loan debt and make universal child care available and free for families who otherwise couldn’t afford it, something she has called a “big structural change.”
Warren has stated clearly to voters that she’s not afraid of making structural change. Her message to young girls who might want to run for office?
“That’s what girls do.”