War­ren: ‘San­ders said no woman could win any US elec­tion vote’

The Scotsman - - WORLD NEWS - By WILL WEISSERT news­[email protected]­man.com

El­iz­a­beth War­ren says fel­low Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Bernie San­ders told her when they met pri­vately in 2018 that he didn’t think a woman could win the White House.

Mr San­ders has de­nied the claim. But Ms War­ren, a Mas­sachusetts sen­a­tor, said in a state­ment that dur­ing their two-hour meet­ing two years ago to dis­cuss the 2020 elec­tion, “among the top­ics that came up was what would hap­pen if Democrats nom­i­nated a fe­male can­di­date”. “I thought a woman could win; he dis­agreed,” she said.

The dis­pute marked an ex­tra­or­di­nary turn­ing point in a Demo­cratic pri­mary that, with few ex­cep­tions, has been char­ac­terised by ge­nial dif­fer­ences over do­mes­tic is­sues such as health care. The feud brew­ing be­tween Ms War­ren and Mr San­ders was ex­pected to change the tone of the cam­paign go­ing into last night’s de­bate and comes less than three weeks be­fore the Iowa cau­cuses launch the Demo­cratic con­test.

It also marks a jar­ring split be­tween the two long-time pro­gres­sive al­lies, po­ten­tially giv­ing an open­ing for a more mod­er­ate ri­vals such as for­mer vice-pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den to at­tempt uni­fy­ing the party.

In her state­ment, Ms War­ren said she and Mr San­ders “have far more in com­mon than our dif­fer­ences on pun­ditry”.

“I’m in this race to talk about what’s bro­ken in this coun­try and how to fix it – and that’s what I’m go­ing to con­tinue to do,” she said. “I know Bernie is in the race for the same rea­son. 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.”

CNN first re­ported Mr San­ders’ com­ment on Mon­day, based on the ac­counts of anony­mous peo­ple with knowl­edge of the meet­ing. That drew a swift and strong de­nial from

Mr San­ders, a Ver­mont sen­a­tor, who said: “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.”

Mr San­ders’ aides then ac­cused Ms War­ren’s cam­paign of leak­ing what they said was an in­ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of what was said dur­ing the meet­ing.

That helped prompt Ms War­ren’s state­ment hours later. Jeff Weaver, a se­nior ad­viser to Mr San­ders, then seemed to try and defuse the sit­u­a­tion, re­fus­ing to re­fute Ms War­ren’s ver­sion and in­stead say­ing on CNN that “those con­ver­sa­tions can some­times get mis­con­strued.”

The con­tro­versy is likely to re­vive anx­i­ety among Democrats about whether, nearly four years af­ter Hil­lary Clin­ton lost her White House bid, vot­ers are will­ing to sup­port an­other woman run­ning for pres­i­dent.

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