- Sen. Elizabeth Warren was interviewed Monday morning by NPR
- She repeatedly said she was not running for president
- Warren has emerged as powerful figure in the Senate as a voice for the left
Asked four times by NPR's Steve Inskeep on Monday morning whether she was running for president, Warren held her ground, repeating each time: "I am not running for president."
"That's not what we're doing. We had a really important fight in the United States Congress just this past week, and I'm putting all my energy into that fight, into what happens after this," the Massachusetts Democrat said.
Inskeep pointed out that she was speaking in the present tense, and that she hadn't said she would "never" run, but Warren didn't change her tune, eventually becoming so exasperated she demanded, "do you want me to put an exclamation point at the end?"
The questions came in the context of a growing movement to draft Warren into the presidential race, launched by a handful of progressive groups that see her as a transformative figure on the left.
And they follow a weekend in which she emerged as a powerful figure on the left as the leader of Democratic opposition to a must-pass government spending bill that included policy riders that progressives found unpalatable.
One rider rolled back a key provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, a pet priority of Warren's. And defections from both Democrats and Republicans in the House threatened passage of the bill and brought Congress to the brink of another shutdown this week.
It eventually passed both the House and the Senate, however, and Warren said Monday morning that "we don't want to shut down the government," suggesting she has no plans to take Congress past the brink to defend her priorities.
But the newly-minted member of Senate Democratic leadership hinted she'd continue to stoke controversy within the party.
"I am grateful to have a place at the table, but my priorities haven't changed," she said. "I'm gonna stand up and fight for what I believe in."