WASHINGTON -- Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has said repeatedly she is not running for president, took one of her strongest actions yet to discourage supporters, sending a letter from her election attorney Friday intended to disassociate herself from the “Ready for Warren” campaign.
“This letter serves as a formal disavowal of the organization and its activity,” Warren’s attorney, Marc E. Elias wrote to the Federal Election Commission. “The senator has not, and does not, explicitly or implicitly, authorize, endorse, or otherwise approve of the organization’s activities.”
And in case that’s not clear enough, Elias goes on to say that “To the contrary, Senator Warren has publicly announced that she is not running for president in 2016.”
The group Ready For Warren began aggressively promoting itself last month at the liberal Netroots Conference in Detroit. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, had already said she was not encouraging their effort to recruit her. When Warren spoke at the gathering of liberal activists, organizers passed out “Warren for President” hats and members of the crowd chanted “Run Liz Run.”
Warren’s letter appears to be aimed as much or more at the public than to regulators.
The group Ready For Warren registered with the FEC earlier this month as a Super PAC that can raise unlimited funds. In her letter, Warren’s attorney urges the group to instead focus its attention on the US Senate “and not confuse donors about a non-existent run for president.”
A spokesman for the FEC, Christian Hilland, said subjects of draft campaigns for public office are not obligated to respond when such political committees are formed.
Erica Sagrans, one of Ready for Warren’s organizers, said the group will continue to promote Warren’s candidacy. It is in the process of orgnaizing house parties for Aug. 28 intended to build its ranks. She said she did not know how much money has been raised so far but that the group is just starting to raise funds.
“She is not ofifically associated with us and we’re an independent organization and she has already said that,” Sagrans said. “We’re continuing our work.” She said the group planned to promote other Senate Democrats, as well.
The group has modeled itself after the much larger “Ready for Hillary” effort intended to build a base of support for Hillary Clinton, who has not announced her 2016 intentions.
Before her speech at Netroots, Warren denied she would run. “I’m going to give you the same answer I have given you many times,” she told the Globe in an interview. “There is no wiggle room. I am not running for president. No means no.”Noah Bierman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.