President Obama on Thursday said that his disagreement with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is merely over trade policy, and is not a personal fight.
“The issue with respect to myself and Elizabeth has never been personal,” Obama told reporters at a press conference at Camp David, according to The Hill. “It’s fun for the press to see if we can poke around at it when you see two close allies who have a disagreement on a policy issue.”
Obama and Warren have been locked in a feud over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Warren has criticized the deal and claims that it could hurt the economy and undermine U.S. financial regulations.
In an interview published on Saturday, Obama said that Warren’s criticisms are “absolutely wrong” and said that “Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said that Obama’s comments about Warren were “disrespectful” and that the President would not have called Warren by her first name if she were “a male senator.” The White House defended Obama’s comments, noting that the President calls numerous senators by their first names.
Obama on Thursday emphasized that he agrees with Warren and other liberals who oppose the current deal on most issues.
“These are folks whose values are completely aligned with mine,” he said, according to The Hill. “This just comes down to a policy difference on what we think is best for our constituents.”