Warren announces White House bid, getting early jump on 2020 race

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (Mass.) became the first major Democratic name to jump into the 2020 presidential race on Monday, announcing that she is forming an exploratory committee to run for the White House. 

The senator made the announcement in a video sent to supporters and posted on YouTube. 

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“America’s middle class is under attack,” Warren said in the video. “How did we get here? Billionaires and big corporations decided they wanted more of the pie. And they enlisted politicians to cut them a bigger slice.”

Warren’s announcement comes about 13 months before the Iowa caucuses. Aside from Warren, the biggest name to have announced an exploratory committee is former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Warren has long been seen as a leading contender for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination. The liberal stalwart, first elected to the Senate in 2012, is a proven fundraiser and party heavyweight who declined to step into the 2016 presidential primary. 

Warren, 69, is a former Harvard professor who first came to national prominence after the 2008 financial crisis. Warren chaired an oversight panel established by Congress that evaluated government programs intended to bolster the country after the crisis and worked to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Polls suggest former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBeto could give Biden and Bernie a run for their money Biden: 'I have the most progressive record of anybody running ... anybody who would run' H.R. 1 falls short of real reform MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (I-Vt.) are the early leaders for the Democratic nomination, which could be a reflection of their high name recognition. If Sanders enters the primary, he and Warren could compete for progressive voters.

The primary is expected to be crowded. Other figures looking at the race include Rep. Beto O'RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O'RourkeO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says voters aren't interested in 'personal attacks' like GOP tweet O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail MORE (Texas), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (N.J.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharO'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail Officials dismiss criticism that Trump rhetoric to blame for New Zealand attack Trump reignites criticism of McCain months after senator's death MORE (Minn.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownCongress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders Appeals court upholds Ohio law to defund Planned Parenthood clinics It is Joe Biden's time — 10 reasons MORE (Ohio), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (Calif.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandNew York Rep. Maloney endorses Gillibrand for president Actress Connie Britton endorses former roommate Gillibrand for president Trump singles out local union boss over GM's decision to shutter Ohio plant MORE (N.Y.). 

The formation of the exploratory committee was preceded by other signals from Warren that she is going to run for president.

In October, Warren announced the results of a DNA test that showed "strong evidence" that she has Native American ancestry. The move was intended to put to rest scrutiny that she had claimed Native American ancestry, something President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE had used to question her credibility. 

Trump frequently refers to Warren as "Pocahontas," a racially charged remark that has drawn intense criticism.

The release of the test does not appear to have ended Trump's insults, and it also drew criticism from some Native American groups who see such genetic tests as problematic. 

Warren discusses themes such as economic equality, government accountability and reining in big corporations in the four-and-a-half minute video. 

“I’ve spent my career getting to the bottom of why America’s promise works for some families, but others who work just as hard slip through the cracks into disaster,” Warren says. “What I’ve found is terrifying. These aren’t cracks that families are falling into, they’re traps.”

She concludes the clip by saying, “If we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together we can win.

“We can and we will.” 

The move from Warren comes just a couple days after she dropped the Massachusetts prefix from her official Twitter account handle, fueling speculation that a bid for president would soon be announced. 

The Washington Post reported that Warren is expected to base her campaign headquarters in Boston. It will likely be led by longtime aide Dan Geldon.