Elizabeth Warren: Bernie Sanders said a woman couldn't win in 2020

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 14, 2020

(CNN)Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have for more than a year observed a non-aggression pact created to keep the Democratic left united as it seeks to topple the party's leading moderate presidential candidates.

In a statement, Sanders said it would be "ludicrous to believe" that he would have made such a comment and accused members of Warren's staff, who weren't present for the one-on-one conversation, of "lying about what happened".

"It is appalling that after 18 years Joe Biden still refuses to admit he was dead wrong on the Iraq War, the worst foreign policy blunder in modern American history", Sanders senior advisor Jeff Weaver said in a statement. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a woman could not win the office, Warren said Monday, following an anonymously sourced report by CNN. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. I thought a woman could win.

In a further sign that the gloves were off, CNN reported Monday that Sanders told Warren in a private meeting in late 2018, as they both contemplated presidential runs, that he did not believe a woman could defeat Trump. "After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016".

The four individuals went on to tell CNN that Sanders complained Democrats are too focused on "identity politics" and Warren pushed back by telling her colleagues she disagreed with his alleged comment about a woman beating Trump.

Still, the controversy is likely to revive anxiety among Democrats about whether - almost four years after Hillary Clinton lost her White House bid - voters are willing to support another woman running for president. And notably, their meeting in December 2018 came just weeks after a record number of women had been elected to the House of Representatives, helping to deliver the majority to the Democrats. "Or are you on the side of big money and the corporations?"

If Warren has a shred of integrity, she'll call it out for the lie that it is.

Warren and Sanders, long the two most progressive candidates, will start differentiating themselves as they head into primary season, and polls show Sanders with a slight edge in Iowa.

"I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry", Warren continued.

A poll released last week by Monmouth of New Hampshire voters showed essentially a three-way tie among Biden, Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Some of his allies have also implicitly and explicitly gone after Warren on the broader question of who has the rightful claim to the progressive mantle in 2020.

If Warren and Sanders agreed on a non-aggression pact of sorts that night, that agreement has become increasingly frayed.

The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for additional reaction to the CNN report.

"I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending out his volunteers to trash me", Ms Warren said. Bernie knows me and has known me for a long time...

Sanders has also apparently chided Warren as the candidate of the elite, with Politico reporting that Sanders volunteers were instructed to tell voters that Warren could not expand the Democratic base in a general election.

Sanders himself appeared to distance himself from the memo, saying on Sunday that his campaign has "hundreds of employees" and that "people sometimes say things that they shouldn't". Warren and Sanders, both of whom support universal health care, tuition-free public college and raising the minimum wage, have for months competed for their party's most liberal wing while refraining from attacking each other.

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