Elizabeth Warren reflects on sexism in 2020 campaign after exiting race

Image: Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren speaks during a primary election night rally, on March 3, 2020, at Eastern Market in Detroit. Copyright Patrick Semansky AP
By Adam Edelman with NBC News Politics
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"One of the hardest parts of this is … all those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years," Warren said.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., in emotional remarks Thursday following her departure from the 2020 race, lamented that voters would not be able to select a woman for the presidency this year and reflected on how sexism may have played a role in the campaign.

"One of the hardest parts of this is … all those little girls who are going to have to wait four more years," Warren told reporters and supporters outside her Cambridge, Mass., home after news emerged that she'd be suspending her bid. Warren was responding to a question about what her message would be to women voters who were "left with two white men to decide between" in the election.

"That's going to be hard," she said.

Warren also described the role she felt sexism played in her lack of success during the primaries — and the double standard she said existed for women who tried to raise awareness about it.

"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,'" she said. "And if you say, no, there was no sexism, about a bazillion women think, 'what planet do you live on?''"

But the Massachusetts senator also offered deeply personal thoughts on having been able to overcome that sexism by running at all — and described how proud she felt her parents would have been to see her name on the ballot.

"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," Warren said.

"For that moment standing in the booth, I missed my mom and my daddy," she said.

The Massachusetts Democrat initially announced her decision to drop out on a call with staff Thursday morning. Her departure — which came after a poor Super Tuesday showing in which she failed to win any states — ended a frantic year of campaigning.

And it left the once-large and diverse field of Democratic candidates with just two major contenders: former Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, V-It., both white men. (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, is still in the race but has won only one delegate and does not have a path to the nomination).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that lack of diversity in the field left her feeling deeply saddened.

"Every time I get introduced as the most powerful woman, I almost cry, because I wish it was not true," Pelosi said, responding to a question at her weekly press conference about Warren's exit.

"I think America is ready for a woman president," Pelosi said.

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