Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) revealed on Monday that fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told her in a private meeting in December 2018 that a woman could not win the White House.
CNN also reported earlier the same day that four other anonymous sources closely associated with Warren’s political campaign have verified Sanders’ remarks that he believes a woman has no shot at winning the presidency.
‘I Thought a Woman Could Win; He Disagreed’
In a recent statement, Warren detailed the private conversation that surrounded what many are calling a “sexist remark” made by Sanders. She said:
“Bernie and I met for more than two hours in December 2018 to discuss the 2020 election, our past work together and our shared goals: beating Donald Trump, taking back our government from the wealthy and well-connected, and building an economy that works for everyone. Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”
Despite her claims, Warren also reiterated that she would not discuss their private meeting any further “because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry.” She added, “We have been friends and allies in this fight for a long time, and I have no doubt we will continue to work together to defeat Donald Trump…”
Sanders Denies Claim, Calls Warren’s Tactic Desperate
Upon learning of Warren’s retelling of their private conversation, Sanders and his campaign team immediately denied her claims, referring to them as a desperate move to stunt his momentum ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
“It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn’t win,” Sanders commented. “It’s sad that, three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren’t in the room are lying about what happened.”
Sanders would go on to say that he does, in fact, believe a woman has a chance at winning the election. “Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”
Tensions Rising Between Friends
During this same private meeting, reports have claimed that both Sanders and Warren agreed not to directly attack each other’s campaigns. However, it appears that this part of the conversation has eluded the candidates’ memories.
According to a document leaked to Politico, Sanders’ team has told volunteers to suggest to voters that Warren is the candidate for “highly-educated, more affluent people” in an effort to “steal” votes.
Progressives are afraid that the rising tensions between long-time “friends” could split voters’ allegiances and allow former Vice President Joe Biden or former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg to emerge as the Democratic nominee.