Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont have a great deal in common politically; from pioneering issues like Medicare for All, free college tuition, backing – and in Sanders’ case, co-sponsoring – the Green New Deal, and combating Wall Street billionaires, the two leftist Presidential Candidates agree on far more than they disagree on. However, during the seventh Democratic Debate in January 2020, the two candidates found certainly found uncommon ground. The truce between the two seems to have fallen apart, despite their similarities. With the first Democratic primary being just weeks away, Sanders and Warren certainly found a way to stir the pot.
What happened? Well, a private conversation between the two Senators leaked from Warren’s team a few days prior to the January debate, where Sanders supposedly reported that “a female candidate would have trouble winning the presidency in 2020.” Warren later confirmed that Sanders had mentioned this in private, and it was a prominent subject of discussion during the debate.
After being directly asked about the happenings of the conversation in their 2018 meeting, Sanders responded by denying the supposed statement completely, “Well, as a matter of fact, I didn’t say it,” he reported at the debate. “And I don’t want to waste a whole lot of time on this, because this is what Donald Trump and maybe some of the media want. Anybody who knows me knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman could not be President of the United States.”
Warren was then asked what her reaction to what Sanders had said in 2018, “ I disagreed,” she explained. “Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with him. But, look, this question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised, and it’s time for us to attack it head on.” Warren continued to explain how the women candidates on the stage were the only candidates who had never lost an election, while the male candidates had collectively lost over 10 elections.
During the debate, not another word was spoken about the supposed 2018 conversation… until the end. Sanders and WArren approached one another preparing to shake hands, but Warren refused. What followed was a brief and highly uncomfortable conversation between the two candidates.
After the Tuesday night debate, many opinions regarding the validity of each argument unveiled itself on social media and in editorial columns. No matter your opinion on the matter, it is clear that because the two candidates are some of the most left-leaning of those in the field, their breaking each other down in no way assists either of their campaigns.
By Maggie Di Sanza