GOP Senate Candidate Kingston Mocks Warren’s ‘Nevertheless She Persisted’ Anniversary

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BOSTON — Businessman John Kingston, one of three Republicans angling for the party nod to challenge Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in November, recognized on Wednesday the one-year anniversary of the Warren’s “nevertheless, she persisted,” Senate floor moment with a playful series of statements.

A year ago, Warren was repeatedly asked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to refrain from “impugning” a fellow member, a violation of Senate rules, during then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions’s confirmation process to become U.S. Attorney General. The full Senate eventually voted to silence Warren.

After the vote McConnell reminded the Cambridge Democrat that she was provided with several warnings, and added in a since-famous comment that became both a rallying cry for feminists on the left and a fund-raising tool for Warren’s campaign, “nevertheless, she persisted.”

Kingston, in his statement marking the anniversary, poked fun at the catchphrase in an apparent effort to remind voters of the manner in which Warren allegedly “persists in putting her own interests over the well-being of Massachusetts residents and the nation as a whole.”

“Senator Warren is certainly persistent,” Kingston said in his prepared statement. “Warren persists in focusing on her presidential ambitions rather than fighting every day to represent hard-working Massachusetts families.”

Kingston’s campaign pointed to a Politico report published last month that purports to show the steps Warren is making in advance of a potential 2020 White House bid.

“She persists in using inflammatory rhetoric to divide Americans against one another in order to score quick political points — even at the moments that should most unify us as a people,” Kingston added, with his campaign referring to the President Donald Trump-focused remarks Warren delivered last month at a Boston breakfast meant to honor the legacy of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

“She persists in increasing the dysfunction in Washington by refusing to set aside ideology and find common cause with her fellow Americans,” Kingston said, pointing to her vote late last month against a budget bill aimed at preventing a federal government shutdown.

Kingston, a businessman from Winchester, also accused Warren of stopping short of advocating for online retail giant Amazon to choose Boston in its search for new headquarters.

“She persists in demonizing American businesses and business people that create good jobs and drive our economy — even when she could be fighting to bring those same good jobs to Massachusetts,” Kingston said.

Kingston later criticized remarks Warren made in 2015 in which she compared police to “occupying armies.”

“She persists in vilifying our men and women in blue who sacrifice every day to protect our communities and keep our families safe,” Kingston said, while noting that Warren initially refused to publicly condemn the documented sexual misconduct of former Senate colleague Al Franken of Minnesota, who announced his resignation in December, accusing her of “putting politics before what is right.”

“Senator Warren persists in being one of the most divisive members of the United States Senate,” Kingston continued. “Warren’s singular pursuit of a presidential campaign in 2020 has contributed to the toxic environment in Washington and denied Massachusetts families the dedicated voice they deserve in Congress.”

Warren marked the anniversary of her “persisted” moment by taking to social media to remind her followers that when McConnell led the vote to keep her from speaking, he was also trying to silence King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, whose writings regarding Sessions Warren had been attempting to quote:

Warren also used the anniversary to speak out once again on Sessions’s current role as attorney general.

“One year ago, I went to the Senate floor to oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions to lead the Justice Department,” Warren wrote on Facebook. “Today I’m going back to the floor to talk about his continued attacks on civil rights, immigration and criminal justice reform as attorney general.”