Congresswoman Deb Haaland says Elizabeth Warren's "dream big, fight hard" message still applies to the 2020 election. In a brief interview with SFR at the March 7 state Democratic Party's pre-primary convention, Haaland said that's the message she's delivering to New Mexicans who supported Warren's candidacy in the Democratic presidential primary. Warren dropped out of the race after Super Tuesday, and Haaland had been one of her campaign national co-chairs.
"Regardless of what candidate you choose now, we need to keep fighting for all the things she stood for," said Haaland, who represents New Mexico's 1st Congressional District. "Universal childcare, giving working families an opportunity to succeed, her platform on Indian country, those are all things we need to push because that's why I supported her."
Moreoever, Haaland said Warren, "has democratic values. She believes in the Democratic infrastructure, so I am saying to every Democrat here in New Mexico to work your heart out this election to get Democrats elected because that's absolutely what Elizabeth Warren would want us to do."
As for which candidate she will support now that Warren is no longer in the race, Haaland tells SFR she has not decided. "I am still sad about my candidate so I'm not in a big hurry, but I will definitely work my heart out in this election year."
Haaland and other Democratic leaders urged 1,200 delegates to do the same in opening speeches at the convention. Haaland was welcomed to the floor accompanied by a video of her time in Congress, including a clip when US Rep. Rodney Davis, R-IL, recognized her as the first Native American woman to chair House proceedings for a debate over voting rights, prompting a standing ovation then in the House and again by delegates attending the pre-primary convention at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino.
Haaland told the room of Democrats that "today our challenge has never been greater. The Liar-in-Chief has undermined Congressional oversight; twisted justice for all to be justice to him; spewed racism; decimated decades of environmental protection; disrespected, demeaned and degraded the office of the presidency, all while enriching his family and friends. Let's be clear, [President Donald] Trump is not a patriot, but an authoritarian in the mold of leaders he admires the most, from countries like North Korea, Russia and Turkey, and that's why I'm going to work my heart out to make him a one-term president."
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, earlier, issued similar messages about Trump, while also noting the accomplishments of her administration, and of the Democratic party. Just a year ago, she said, "Think about what you accomplished: more voter turnout, a blue wave across the state, every statewide office from governor to…the best land commissioner in the country, by incredible margins, and the number of women and women of color who were elected up and down the ballot, that is leadership in the country."
Lujan Grisham said she will be working—as co-chair of the national Organizing 2020 group— "to do everything in my power to take sure the work we're doing here is getting done all across the country, we're taking back the [US] Senate and the White House."
Calling Trump "the worst president in the history of the United States," Lujan Grisham told the audience "we have to work smarter, harder, we gottta' be tougher and we gotta' be clear, [Trump] is not coming into the state and he is not taking New Mexico."
US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan of the 3rd Congressional District, who is running to replace Tom Udall in the US Senate, similarly focused on New Mexico's ability to regain both the US Senate and presidency: "Two years ago, I stood before you to say this election was the most important of our lifetimes, the people had to come together to save our democracy and save our country, and New Mexico delivered." Now, Lujan said, "I'm calling on you again. This moment has found us; it requires us to act. We have to show up because our lives depend on it, our rights depend on it and our future depends on it."
US Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, who narrowly won the traditionally Republican 2nd Congressional District in 2018 and is expected to face a tough re-election challenge, walked onto stage to thunderous applause.
"Washington too often mistakes bluster for strength," she said in her speech, "but here in New Mexico we know better. We know the real strength is often quiet, selfless and kind. If you mistake that strength for weakness, it comes at your own peril." The country, she said, can sometimes seem "hopelessly and forever trapped and fractured into an us versus them, red versus blue everywhere all of the time. But I know New Mexico can show this country it doesn't have to be that way: It's not that simple, it's not that scary and it's not that boring."