Donald Trump Can Use 'Pocahontas' on Elizabeth Warren to 'Do Exactly What He Did to Hillary Clinton': GOP Consultant

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren may have apologized for taking a DNA test to prove she has Native American ancestry, but President Donald Trump could use his "Pocahontas" label for Warren to damage her as he did to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, according to at least one Republican consultant.

Warren can say she never used her ethnicity—her DNA test found she is between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American and backfired—to land a job. But Trump could use it against her to question her honesty.

"If you give Trump a tool to equalize the playing field, which is what this does, he will do exactly what he did to Hillary Clinton," Republican consultant Dan Hazelwood told Politico Magazine in a piece published online Tuesday.

Hazelwood, who owns Targeted Creative Communications, said Warren has "never given the answer to the core of the Trump charge, which is: She cheated. She cheated for personal gain. She hasn't answered that part of the attack."

The consultant said "we're all kidding ourselves" to think Trump would not be able to find people including Native Americans who would admit they still think Warren's DNA test was inappropriate "and she never actually properly accounted for her misdeeds." Hazelwood cautioned Democrats to "not pretend that you can't find those people, because a presidential campaign can."

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In the 2016 presidential election, Republicans cast Clinton's experience as Secretary of State as controversial, zeroing in on her use of a private email server. Trump relentlessly attacked Clinton over her email use and beat her in the race for the nation's highest office.

If Trump manages to link concerns about Warren's personal integrity to her agenda's integrity, it could be devastating to the Massachusetts senator, writes Politico Magazine contributing editor Bill Scher in the piece.

"She styles herself as a warrior for the people, fighting to fix a system 'rigged' against them by elites," Scher writes. "But if Trump can convince swing voters that Warren, as a member of the academic elite, rigged a system to benefit herself, he could turn what is now Warren's main strength into a fatal weakness."

Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas Hillary Clinton
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (R) addresses the crowd as Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks on during a campaign rally at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal June 27, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Warren was helping Clinton campaign in Ohio. John Sommers II/Getty

While Warren did not use her claim to Native American heritage to get hired onto the Harvard Law faculty, the top university used her self-identification as Native American to boost its staff statistics on diversity.

At an event honoring Navajo Code Talkers in November 2017, Trump referred to Warren as "a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas." After Warren's DNA test in fall 2018, Trump reportedly told a man at a rally in Illinois, "We can't use Pocahontas anymore, she's got no Indian blood! I have more than she does and I have none, so I can't call her Pocahontas anymore but I think I will anyway, do you mind?"

Another Republican strategist, Chuck Warren of September Group (who is not related to the candidate), told the magazine, "I don't think the Pocahontas thing sticks," calling it "a funny line to people at the rallies, [but] it does't talk much about her character."

Chuck Warren opined that the most effective way to weaken her would not be Trump's Pocahontas slur, but rather making her plans appear like cheap pandering.

"Everybody loves to call her a policy wonk, but everything she is presenting is 'buy me a vote,'" he said. "She is willing to say, or put on any hat, to get ahead."

Elizabeth Warren is the only 2020 Democratic candidate to see a rise in polls since May.