Timeline: Warren’s 2016 denials

Timeline: Warren’s 2016 denials
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Disney laying off 32,000 workers as coronavirus batters theme parks MORE’s (D-Mass.) 2014 could be summed up in one line: I am not running for president.

Time and time again, reporters have asked the liberal senator whether she’s trying to run for the White House. Time and time again, she has denied it.


But that hasn’t stopped the press from speculating about her candidacy, or progressive groups from trying to draft her into the race as a populist alternative to likely-candidate Hillary Clinton.

A close look at her denials over the past 12 months provides little indication that she might be changing her mind — with one exception.

During an interview with People magazine in October, Warren’s firm denial of 2016 interest turned a little softer, as she responded to the question with, “I don’t think so,” adding that, “there are amazing doors that could open."

Here’s a look at how’s she’s answered the 2016 question over time.

December 4, 2013: In November of 2013, The New Republic published an article that suggested Warren was the only viable alternative to Clinton. In December, Warren shot down any suggestion she might seek the presidency.

"I'm not running for president and I plan to serve out my term," Warren said at a Boston press conference.

"I pledge to serve out my term. I am not running for president. I am working as hard as I can to be the best possible senator I can be," she said. Her term in the Senate will end in 2019.

April 20, 2014: By April, Warren was making media appearances to promote her book, A Fighting Chance. Again, the question of a possible White House run came up.

“I'm not running for president," Warren told CBS’s “Sunday Morning.”

When pressed, she reiterated: “I'm not running for president. You can ask it lots of different ways.”

She repeated the line in several media appearances that week.

May 11, 2014: Warren told Bob Schieffer on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that she wasn’t running, and demurred when asked if she would reconsider if Clinton dropped out of the race.

May 19, 2014: The senator appeared on “The Colbert Report,” where she once again faced the familiar question.

"The obvious question is are you running for president?" Stephen Colbert asked.

“No, I'm not running for president,” Warren said.

“Right now you're not running. It's a long time between now and 2016,” Colbert said.

“Last question,” he said, “are you running for president?”

Warren replied softly: “No, I’m not running for president.”

July 23, 2014: By the summer, Warren had turned her attention toward Democratic efforts to keep the Senate.

“I’m not running,” she said in an interview with ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny.

When Zeleny noted that her answer to the question was always in the present tense, she repeated, “I am not running for president.

August 22, 2014: In July, an outside group calling itself Ready for Warren launched with the stated intention of pushing the Massachusetts Democrat into the race.

Her lawyer told the Federal Election Commission in August that she was not associated with the group.

“I’m going to give you the same answer I have given you many times,” she told the Boston Globe. “There is no wiggle room. I am not running for president. No means no.”

October 22, 2014: Warren was asked about running for president by People magazine — and gave a more open-to-interpretation answer than she had all year.

"I don't think so," she said. "If there's any lesson I've learned in the last five years, it's don't be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing doors that could open."

A day later, a spokeswoman for Warren insisted that “nothing has changed.” 

December 14, 2014: Now elevated to Senate leadership, Warren mounted a vocal campaign against a spending bill that made changes to the Dodd-Frank financial reform act.

In an interview with NPR, she was asked what she told the outside groups who are now organizing for a possible Warren bid.

“I told them, ‘I'm not running for president,’” she told NPR’s Steve Inskeep.

“You're putting that in the present tense, though. Are you never going to run?” he asked.

“I am not running for president,” she said.

“You're not putting a ‘never’ on that,” he said.

“I am not running for president,” Warren replied. “You want me to put an exclamation point at the end?”