Fox News
June 13, 2012

Who is Elizabeth Warren?

Guests: Michelle Fields, The Daily Caller

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The balance of power that is in the United States Senate is hanging by a thread as Democrats hope to keep their slim majority. And it could all come down to one state where a nagging controversy has been clouding this race.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY (voice-over): In the closely watched Massachusetts Senate race, one issue has been dogging democrat Elizabeth Warren for months. Is she, in fact, a minority, due to her claim of being part Cherokee Indian?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Elizabeth, can you put this issue to bed and tell us whether or not you are in fact a member of a minority group?

ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS., SENATE CANDIDATE: So middle-class families are getting hammered. I have been out talking to people about this all across the commonwealth.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Members of Cherokee Nation want to know. They say you should come clean.

WARREN: I have made the facts clear. And what I am trying to do is talk about in this Senate race what matters to America's families.

HANNITY: Her opponent was quick to seize on her attempts to dodge the controversy.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Senator, what is it that you would like Elizabeth Warren to come clean on?

SEN. SCOTT BROWN, R-MASS.: Listen, I don't want really -- all I have asked is the same thing you have been asking, is to answer the questions and tell the truth.

HANNITY: Warren insists that she is just going by what her family has always told her.

WARREN: This is what my brothers and I were told by my mom and my dad and my mama (ph) and my papa (ph). This is our lives and I'm very proud of it.

HANNITY: But the closest genealogist could find is a marriage license application for her great-great-grandfather which lists his mother as a Cherokee.

CHRIS CHILD, GENEALOGIST: This is from an 1894 marriage record. So, this is as reliable as however as the son knew of, in terms of what have he was saying about his mother's ancestry.

WARREN: I have lived in a family that has talked about Native American, talked about tribes since I have been a little girl. My aunt Bea has remarked that my papa had high cheek bones, like all of the Indians do. Because that's how she saw it. Being Native American has been part of my story, I guess since the day I was born.

We grow up on what our family tells us about our family.

HANNITY: But the problem is, it wasn't just her making this claim. Harvard University's law school began reporting quote, "a Native American female professor" in federal statistics for the 1992-93 school year when she was first hired."

BROWN: Harvard relied on these representations, they made representations to the federal government. And as a result of that, they reported certain things, representing diversity that in fact wasn't there. Potentially took advantage of opportunities that would have been made available to them, due to that diversity. And it's wrong.

HANNITY: Now, while she previously admitted identifying herself in a legal directory as a Cherokee in an attempt to, quote, "Meet other people like herself," for months, Warren said, she did not know that Harvard was making the claim or where they got their information. But now her campaign has released a statement saying, quote, "At some point, after I was hired by them, I provided that information to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard." She still insists that it has nothing to do with why she was hired and that she has not benefited from that label.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: And joining us now from Washington, Michelle Fields, a reporter for the Daily Caller. Michelle, always good to see you.

MICHELLE FIELDS, THE DAILY CALLER: Nice to see you, too.

HANNITY: You know what is amazing in this? It's like she seemingly, I think people are arguing here, she just misrepresented the truth. And then, when it worked for her benefit and worked for Harvard's benefit, they didn't do due diligence and background. And now she is being confronted with it and she keeps vacillating. How big a deal is this?

FIELDS: Yes. This calls into question her integrity and her character. And you know, this isn't going to be that big a deal for Republicans who live in Massachusetts because they were never going to vote for her anyway. But there are moderates and conservative Democrats who are now -- for affirmative action who are now saying, hey, I don't want to vote for someone who gamed the system, who took advantage of economic opportunities and took advantage of the history and the struggles of Native Americans.

HANNITY: Is it gaming the system? And is it also the denial and the parsing of words and threading the needle? It seems that that's, you know --

FIELDS: Yes. You know, she didn't come clean right away. Instead, she is constantly going back and forth and ignoring the question or trying to dodge the question, instead of just coming forth and coming clean and saying, yes, I did do this, I did say this.

But suddenly, she is saying that this is central to who she is. But when she started off her campaign, she never talked about how she was Native American. How that was very close to her. Now, all of a sudden, it's central to her life and who she is.

HANNITY: What does this say about a liberal university like Harvard University where, you know, they were using this to go out there and say, we've got a Native American female professor -- did they know better?

FIELDS: Yes, you know, I am not sure. But, you know, they should be the ones condemning her. And the liberals and progressive who say they are for diversity, who are for affirmative action, they should defend those ideals and condemn her for taking advantage of those ideals and the advantage of those programs.

HANNITY: Yes, unbelievable. Michelle Fields, thanks so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

FIELDS: Thank you.

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