In the lead-up to the January Democratic primary debate, it appears that tensions are running high among the field of presidential candidates. Longtime friends Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have remained amicable despite being opponents, went head to head on social media a day before their expected appearances on an Iowa debate stage.
The dustup threw Twitter into a frenzy on Monday, and it all stemmed from a CNN article that claimed that Sanders told Warren during a 2018 private meeting at her home in DC, that a woman couldn’t win the 2020 presidential election. That story then prompted the senator from Vermont to deny the words ever left his mouth, and accuse the Warren campaign staff of “lying” about it.
“What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could,” Sanders said in a statement. “Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”
Warren shot back at his dismissal of the night’s events with a statement of her own which was shared with ESSENCE and other media outlets. It said, in part, “I thought a woman could win; he disagreed,” adding, “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.”
In a statement from the Elizabeth Warren campaign, the Massachusetts senator shares her recollection of the 2018 private meeting in question.
Though the two parties ended their public spat with statements, it didn’t stop their campaigns and supporters on social media from weighing in. Sanders allies took to the platform with the hashtag #ITrustBernie and #RefundWarren. Many of whom called into question Warren’s honesty and celebrated Sanders’ history of championing women’s rights.
Monday’s exchange will likely spill over into Tuesday’s debate. The two friends faceoff at Drake University in Des Moines at 9 p.m. ET on CNN. The feuding friends will be joined by former vice president Joe Biden, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, and billionaire businessman Tom Steyer.
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