(State House News Service) — If Sen. Elizabeth Warren breaks from her firm public stance and runs for president, she will have the backing of Congressman Michael Capuano, who said Monday that he offered his assistance without “trying to pry” into her intentions.
“I have spoken to her. I have not asked her for any response. I actually made it very clear I did not want a response. It was a one-sided offering of support,” the Somerville Democrat told reporters after an event on a Boston Harbor pier. Capuano said, “She said nothing. And I told her I didn’t want her to say anything, and she didn’t. And even if she did, you know I wouldn’t tell you.”
But Warren did have something to say about it Monday.
As groups around the country have begun organizing for the potential of a Warren entry into the 2016 presidential field, the freshman senator has repeatedly denied any plans to seek the White House.
“I am not running for president. No means no,” Warren told reporters before the harbor event on Monday, according to audio provided by her staff.
Capuano shared his support for her hypothetical presidential bid on Boston Herald Radio earlier Monday and again after the event. After the event, Capuano said he was not encouraging her to run, “would encourage her to do what she thinks is right for her,” and said, “I can only take her at her word,” while noting that circumstances can change.
Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic U.S. senator, former U.S. secretary of state, former first lady and 2008 presidential candidate, is widely expected to launch a presidential bid where she would likely be an early frontrunner.
Asked if Clinton would have his support, Capuano said, “Don’t know yet. Depends who else runs.”
“I know Elizabeth Warren pretty well. I know Hillary Clinton a little bit,” said Capuano, who said he has broad agreement with Warren and he sees her as having a “realistic chance.”
On Sunday on CNN, Gov. Deval Patrick, who has left the door open to a future presidential bid of his own, demurred when asked if Warren should run for president.
Capuano thinks Warren is in a unique position.
“There may be a million people I know that might make a good president. There are very few people who could be president, and she is in that position,” Capuano said.
Warren has long been favored by a contingent of Democrats for her tough stance on the financial industry. She made headlines recently for opposing part of a federal spending bill that she said would allow for more “Wall Street bailouts” and risky bets by banks.
“That is outrageous,” Warren said on Monday of the legislation, which passed as part of the government spending bill 56-40 on Saturday. Asked how she would be able to work with Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Republican expected to take over the Environment and Public Works Committee next year, Warren said, “The question is can the environment survive Jim Inhofe?”
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, a Malden Democrat who is on the public works committee, said Inhofe told him “he wanted to work with me on all of the transportation projects, and he wanted to make sure that is completely bipartisan.”
“He and I are friends, but we disagree on climate change, but we also agree that we should work together for funding for billions of dollars of transportation funding,” Markey told reporters. He said he has passed 510 laws, and he had the help of a Republican passing every one of them.
Asked whether he would support Warren if she ran, Markey said, “She said quite clearly she is not going to run for president, and I think we should just take her at her word.” He said, “It’s just not an issue.”