It began with a statement made by Warren on Monday where she said, “Bernie and I met for more than two hours in December 2018 to discuss the 2020 election, our past work together and our shared goals: beating Donald Trump, taking back our government from the wealthy and well-connected, and building an economy that works for everyone. Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed. 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 response to a great deal of questions we’ve had today, below is a statement from Elizabeth Warren: pic.twitter.com/PdBCHJQCJE
— Kristen Orthman (@KristenOrthman) January 14, 2020
Many have reacted to Warren’s campaign’s new posturing with skepticism given that it comes on the heels of Sander’s surge in the polls to front runner and her own quickly diminishing poll numbers. Teen Vogue calls the entire narrative “fake beef” and only a sure sign and indicative that the primaries are “heating up” as we approach the official beginning of primary voting beginning with the Iowa caucuses February 3rd.
Bernie Sanders reacted vociferously. According to CBS News, “Sanders’ campaign released an angry statement from the Vermont senator in response to the CNN reportsaying, ““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. 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. What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could. Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) January 13, 2020
According to Politico, the Sanders campaign never denied the script’s authenticity. Politico reporter Alex Thompson took to Twitter to deny claims from Sanders supporters that the script was uploaded by a volunteer and not an official campaign document, writing that the document had “Paid for by Bernie 2020” written on it.
Fwiw, this popular thread is not true. Attacking reporting and pushing misinformation is not just a right-wing phenomenon. I provided all the info to Bernie's camp before publishing & they didn't deny its authenticity. The doc had "Paid for by Bernie 2020"https://t.co/IAL9UXlJ8j
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) January 12, 2020
Regardless, the story has reached critical mass and now paints a unity problem within the party.
Teen Vogue: “What’s curious about the “unity candidate” argument regarding questions about the wealthier supporters in Warren’s movement is how it squares with Warren’s attacks on Buttigieg just last month. On the December debate stage, Warren laid into Buttigieg over fundraising from “billionaires in wine caves,” who hosted a fundraiser for the former mayor. Whether or not you believe the Sanders campaign was attacking Warren or that this situation is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, the timing of the dustup is notable. The entire situation comes as candidates are in the fevered final weeks of the run-up to the February 3 Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the Democratic primary process for 2020. Sanders and Warren placed first and second, respectively, in a major poll released Friday.”