Sen. Elizabeth Warren on how 2020 primary loss inspired book ‘Persist’

The Massachusetts senator and author also shares why she felt she ran against the shadows of Martha Coakley and Hillary Clinton during her runs for Senate and president.
11:05 | 05/04/21

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Transcript for Sen. Elizabeth Warren on how 2020 primary loss inspired book ‘Persist’
You know, D.C. Has a lot of work to do right now, and our next guest has very strong feelings about how it needs to be done. So please welcome the author of "Persist," senator Elizabeth Warren. Welcome back to "The view," and I think Sara has the first question. Okay. Yes. Welcome, senator. You were clapping and pumping your fist when president Biden unveiled his American families plan to congress last week which covers a very personal issue you have been fighting for your whole life, national paid family leave and child care support. Now like many, you struggled with child care as a working mom, and even got fired for being pregnant which is just hard to believe. How did those experiences shape you and your beliefs? "Persist" I a very personal book, and also a very public you know, let me set the table for you here. Think about it this way. Over the last year, we have survived a worldwide pandemic. We've experienced a racial reckoning. We've seen an armed insurrection. We now have a new president, and we have passed an historic rescue package. Now America has its toes right on the line for the kind of changes we're going to make going forward. What I try to do in this book is I talk about how policies, the decisions we make, are deeply personal, and so I start with what it's like to be a mother, and how motherhood changes everything, and sometimes in some really tough ways. I talk about getting fired for being pregnant. I talk about how I wanted to -- to get a chance then. Here I am. I'm at home with a little baby. I would go back to school. So you know me. I had plans. So I have it all ticked off what I'm going to need to do, my applications and my tests that I have to take. On that list was child care. I got evething checked off my list, and child care nearly broke my back. I tried every place, and places were either a zillion miles away or if they were close, they had a long waiting list or they cost more than I could afford, and I got down to the last few days before my classes were going to start, and you can't take a not yet 2-year-old with you to class. So I finally found a person who was just starting a child care center, a very small home-based one, and it was perfect. So I look at it. I fill out the forms. I get down to the bottom, and I say, it says they only take dependably potty-trained children. I look at my daughter in her diapers and I check dependably potty trained, and then I've got five days to get her dependably potty trained, and I'm here today. Courtesy of a bag of m&ms, but I came so close to not being able to finish my education, and then I tell another story how close I came to losing my job, my first big teaching job when I couldn't get child care. Hre's the part that just makes me grind my teeth. That was me two generations ago. My daughter faced the same thing when her babies were born, and if we don't make changes, my granddaughter will face the same things. So it's about why policy is personal, but the changes we need to make and can make right now. Well, senator Warren, I hope -- I have another question in prompter, but I want to extrapolate on a personal level after that. I actually -- we texted each other when I was pregnant and then after I gave birth, and I was very scared and I was very hormonal, and for some reason you were a lovely person for me to talk to these feelings about, and I actually was scared I was going to get fired for being pregnant, and it's not rational, but I thought if I'm a, you know, co-host of this big show, and I work for ABC and Disney and I'm worried about losing my job, and then on top of everything else, having to deal with how conservatives should be caring about the family, and caring about women and caring about, you know, how people are treated in companies. The fact that you were worried, and you're worried about your granddaughter being worried and I was worried, I'm more disappointed that more Republicans haven't gotten on board and seen the bigger picture on this. Because you've done so much advocacy, you've really put your money where your mouth is. I'm Republican, and you care about how I was feeling. What do you think we can do to bring more Republicans on board with this issue because I really think it's a big reason why we're having so many problems in this country is that women really are punished still for having children. You know, Meghan, I want to - start by saying thank you. It is good -- Thank you. -- That you are speaking out. No. This is true. This is about lifting our this is about persisting. It's about saying, these policies are personal. They touch our lives, and for a long, long time, men in the United States, senate and congress and the white house have talked about infrastructure. We need infrastructure, and every time they say it, do you know what they're talking about? Roads, bridges, broadband, and those are all important, true, but we also need child care. You want parents to be able to go to work. You want women to be able to go to work? Then we need affordable, available child care. We have more women in the senate now, but we need more. We need more women to lift their voices. We need more women to persist, and the stories but also the action of items in this book, that's what it's all about. That's how we make change. Now senator, this book by the way was absolutely fantastic. It was very easy to read and just really wonderful, and you were so open and authentic in it, and you've also openly talked about the role that gender plays in politics, even facing sexism yourself when you ran for president, and you write that you had to run against the shadows of Martha and Hilary, referring to the failed candidacy of Martha Coakley for senate and Hillary Clinton for president. What did you mean by that, and do you believe Democrats were wary to nominate another woman for president after Hillary because obviously you were so So sunny, thank you so much for your comments. I love that you love the book. That means something extra special coming from another author. Look. I wanted to give an honest account of what it means to run for office, an honest account of what it's like to be a woman -- I think of it even in my law career, playing into the boys in the swimming pool, but I do that because I wan to inspire more women to do it. I want more women to get into it. I want us to be eyes wide open, but I want more of us in it. I want us to help each other in it. My job is not just to get out there and talk about me. The point I make in this book is to talk about things that will let lots of women, lots of women complete their educations. Lots of women have a chance to take on that first job or tackle the promotion, and know that they can still manage as loving mothers, as loving daughters of parents they may need to care for, as loving sisters and friends. We have this chance to determine the direction America's going to go for generations. We've got our toes right on the line. You know, so often big change is hard. It's hard. The doors are locked tight, but right now because of so much that has changed, so much turmoil, the door's open just a little, and when the door's open just a little, this is a chance for women. Drop your shoulder, run as hard as you can at it, and make change. Change in your own life, and change in the lives of millions of other women. So senator, I'm a big fan of yours. I think I've told you that many times, and the decision to end your campaign was very painful for us, and for you because there was a point where you were leading in the polls, and we all thought that you could win. You say that 2020, you were new to losing. You were new to it because you're not a loser. You're a winner, and we know that, but that was a hard time for you, wasn't it? Tell us about that, and the title of the book has something to do with how you dealt with that, I think. It does. You know, I got into the presidential race, and it was -- it was -- it was wonderful. I had this chance every day to get out and talk about things I care about. Child care, and about canceling student loan debt, and about a wealth tax so that millionaires and billionaires pay a fair share, about changing social security. I got a chance to talk about those over and over and over, but I didn't win, and I had to face that. I was not going to get my party's nomination, and that meant I was not going to be president of the United States, but when I dropped out, I'm at home with Bruce, my husband, and Bailey, our dog. People start writing on our front sidewalk, and they write notes. We love you, and rainbows and ponies. Someone left chalk, and the next morning after I dropped out, I open the door, and there in two foot-high letters, someone had chalked in persist. That was like a bucket of cold water in the face. I realized I need to do what millions of women do when they have been knocked on their fannies, and that is remember why you're in the fight. Get up, get back in it, and persist. That's what I did. That's it. That's what women do every day. We get up and we have to go on because we got these kids. So we want to tell folks your book "Persist" is out now. You can find it everywhere you look. You can look on audible and it's probably there.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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