Democratic Debate: Sanders Denies Telling Warren a Woman Could Not Be President

“Anybody who knows me knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman could not be president,” Sanders insisted

Presidential Debate Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren

Bernie Sanders denied telling Elizabeth Warren that a woman could not win the presidency during Tuesday’s debate in Des Moines, Iowa.

On Monday, CNN reported that during a private meeting in 2018, Sanders had told Warren that he didn’t believe a woman could win the presidency. Sanders disputed the piece and said it was “ludicrous” that he would say that to Warren, and that “of course” he believed a woman could win. Warren, meanwhile, issued her own statement disputing his account: “I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”

At Tuesday’s debate, the two candidates declined to argue over who was correct about the meeting but continued to stick with their respective stances.

“I didn’t say it. 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,” Sanders said. “Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes. How could anybody in a million years not believe that a woman could be president of the United States?”

“If any of the women on this stage, or any of the men, win the nomination — I hope that’s not the case, I hope it’s me — I will do everything in my power to make sure they are elected to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of the country,” he added.

Warren, who stuck with her prior statement and said she “disagreed” with Sanders’s alleged comments, also attempted to de-escalate the situation.

“Bernie is my friend, and I’m not here to try to fight with Bernie,” she said. “Can a woman beat Donald Trump? Look at the men on this stage. Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people that have won every single election they have been in are the women: Amy and me.”

Klobuchar also weighed in to highlight her past track record: “Every single person that I have beaten, my Republican opponents, have gotten out of politics for good. And I think that sounds pretty good with the guy we have in the White House right now.”

Joining Sanders, Warren, and Klobuchar on stage were Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Tom Steyer — the smallest debate stage this election cycle. And with less than three weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, Tuesday’s debate offered candidates another chance to make their case to voters.