There’s a new twist in the drama that has unexpectedly emerged between Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
A day after Politico’s Sunday report that a Sanders campaign script instructs volunteers to tell voters who are leaning toward voting for Warren that “she’s bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party,” CNN reported that Sanders told the Massachusetts Democrat in December 2018 that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency.
In a statement, Sanders strongly denied the report.
According to CNN, Sanders met Warren at her Washington apartment one evening in December 2018 with the assumption that they would both launch their presidential campaigns.
Two people Warren spoke to directly after the meeting and two people familiar with it told CNN that they both agreed to stay civil during the presidential campaign and talked about how to best defeat President Trump. When Warren reportedly pointed out that she would be a strong candidate due to her economic prowess and ability to gain support from female voters, Sanders replied that the odds are against women.
In a statement to CNN, Sanders denied the report on how the meeting unfolded and called it “ludicrous” to believe that he told Warren that “a woman couldn’t win.”
“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 said in the statement. “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.”
After confirming in the statement that he did call Trump “a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could,” Sanders said that “of course” he believes a woman can win the 2020 presidential election.
“Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course!” Sanders said in the statement. “After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”
Earlier Monday, Sanders’ presidential campaign co-chair Nina Turner responded to Warren’s reaction to Politico’s report in a Hill.TV interview by saying that the Democratic candidate “would never support the trashing of any candidate” and “never directed anybody to do such a thing.”
Read CNN’s report here.