Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren met with a group of progressive leaders last month including some of the people who are actively pushing her to run for president, according to Politico.
The April 22 meeting included three active members of the "Draft Warren" movement that has been vocally advocating for Warren to challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. The senators' backers have not given up on their favorite candidate and greeted the news that Hillary Clinton had formally jumped in the 2016 race last month with renewed calls for Warren to declare a candidacy as well.
Warren has repeatedly said she is not running for president. And attendees at the meeting said the focus was not on a potential presidential campaign, but rather social and racial justice issues like police brutality immigration reform and reforms to the prison system.
"This was about someone who we want to be sharing the issues that are affecting communities of color and working-class communities to make her the strongest possible champion on those issues," Daniel Altschuler, managing director of the Make the Road Action Fund and a supporter of the "Draft Warren" movement, told Politico. "The senator has been a tremendous champion on issues of the financial system run amok and income inequality. We think that a lot of the issues affecting our communities are tied to those big financial systems; we wanted to share some of the issues we're working on."
A Warren aide said the senator did not know the meeting included those with connections to the "Draft Warren" movement until Politico informed her office.
"The point of the meeting was to discuss economic and social justice issues," the aide told the publication. "As Sen. Warren has said many times, she does not support the draft group's efforts and is not running for president."
Should Warren change her mind and jump into the race, she would pose more of an immediate threat to Clinton than other Democrats like former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb. A new CBS News poll found that 36 percent of Democratic voters would consider supporting her, although half said they didn't know enough to have an opinion.
The only other Democrats whom a greater percentage of Democratic voters would support were Clinton herself (85 percent would consider supporting her), and Vice President Joe Biden (53 percent).