Sanders’ response comes after a CNN story, citing four sources, claimed that he told Warren during a 2018 meeting a woman couldn’t win after she informed him of her intent to run for president.
Via the CNN story, this is how the meeting went down:
“Warren laid out two main reasons she believed she would be a strong candidate: She could make a robust argument about the economy and earn broad support from female voters. Sanders responded that he did not believe a woman could win.”
In the story, Sanders shot down the claims with a full-throated denial.
“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 told CNN. He continued:
“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. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”
However, as some reporters noted, Warren’s communications director Kristen Orthman declined to comment.
The most important line in this story is that Elizabeth Warren’s campaign declined to comment. She was in the room for the alleged Bernie Sanders comment and by not commenting she allows the story to run. https://t.co/uP8sqBaJmC— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) January 13, 2020
The news comes as Sanders and Warren are being increasingly pitted against each other in the media. Today, Politico ran a story with the headline “Sanders surges as progressives flock to him over Warren.” Yesterday, reports spread that Sanders volunteers were framing Warren as a candidate for the elite in door-to-door campaigning by telling voters “people who support her are highly-educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what.”
Until now, both Sanders and Warren have refrained from going after each other in any meaningful way. The two are largely considered the “most progressive candidates” of the 2020 Democratic field and have a longstanding friendship in the Senate.
Some Sanders supporters also took to sharing footage of Sanders, in 1988, saying that he thought a woman could be elected president.
Bernie in 1988: In my view, a woman could be elected President.pic.twitter.com/jWHcfDQ4vC— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 13, 2020
As of this press time, Warren is yet to comment publicly on the claims.