“I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”
That’s Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren describing a December 2018 conversation she had with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in advance of their respective decisions to run for president in 2020.
Which, wow. Those eight words are very problematic for Sanders — particularly since they seem to run counter to his long-stated support of women running for all sorts of offices. That all of this is happening less than three weeks before the Iowa caucuses is even more potentially damaging for Sanders — particularly because he was clearly building momentum in Iowa — and beyond — in recent months.
Sanders’ campaign has had a series of reactions to this revelation since CNN’s MJ Lee broke the news on Monday.
“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 a statement to CNN. “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.”
Following the story being published, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said this: “We need to hear from [Warren] directly, but I know what she would say that it is not true that it is a lie.” And then, once Warren came out confirming that it wasn’t a “lie,” Sanders senior adviser Jeff Weaver told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that “there’s some wires crossed here, but clearly Bernie Sanders did not say that a woman can’t win.”