Recently, anonymous sources have said that Bernie Sanders told Elizabeth Warren in a 2018 conversation that he didn’t believe a woman could win the presidency, according to a CNN report. Sanders has refuted that claim and other sources have surfaced showing that Sanders had voiced a favorable view of Warren as President back in 2013. Meanwhile, in the 1980s he said that women should run for President and could win. See videos and quotes in the story below.
In 1988, Sanders Said He Believed a Woman Could Be Elected President
Back in 1988, when Sanders supported Jesse Jackson for President, he said that he believed a woman could win the presidency. Here’s a video.
Sanders said: “The real issue is not whether you’re black or white, whether you’re a woman or a man – in my view, a woman could be elected President of the United States. The real issue is whose side are you on? Are you on the side of workers and poor people, or are you on the side of big money and the corporations?”
The video has resurfaced after CNN reported that anonymous sources said Sanders told Warren in 2018 that a woman couldn’t win the presidency. The alleged statement was made during a private dinner between the two at Warren’s home. The sources are two people who said Warren talked to them after the dinner, and two people “familiar with the meeting.”
In a statement to CNN, Sanders said he did not say those words.
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.”
Kristen Orthman, Warren’s communications director, would not comment, CNN said. Warren later released a statement through her campaign.
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. 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. 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 and put our government on the side of the people.
After the report came out, the 1988 video where he said he believed a woman could win resurfaced. You can view the full video below. It was recorded on January 20, 1988 and his comments about a woman being elected were made around 10:55.
At the time of the video, Sanders was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Observer reported in 2016. Sanders was one of a few to support Jackson’s bid for the presidency. Michael Dukakis ultimately won the nomination.
Here’s the speech where Sanders endorsed Jackson at a Democratic caucus, for more background on what was going on during that period of time.
Back in March 2019, Warren was asked during SXSW if Sanders discouraged her from running for President. Michael Calderone of Politico said that Warren told him: “So Bernie and I had a private dinner and my view is that dinner stays private.”
Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, has said that Sanders never told Warren that a woman couldn’t win.
In 1987, Sanders Encouraged a Group of Students to Remember that Women Had a Right to Run for President Too
Here’s a video in 1987 of Bernie Sanders telling third graders that a woman has as much of a right to run for President as a man.
“I hope all the girls in this class understand that you, just as much as the boys, have a right to become President… I hope the girls will think that they have a right to be involved in politics quite as much as the boys do. It’s beginning to change, but it’s not changing fast enough.”
The Comments About the Dinner Surfaced Shortly After a Controversial Script Was Shared, Which Sanders Volunteers Say Is Not from the Campaign
The anonymous comments about Sanders’ and Warren’s dinner reported by CNN come right after another unknown person posted an alleged talking points script in a Bernie Sanders Slack chat for volunteers. Politico was the first to report on the script. Although described in the headline as a script that “slams” Warren, it actually simply said that she was a good choice and “people who support who are highly-educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what. She’s bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party…” The script was alleged to be part of a training script for volunteers, but Sanders volunteers are refuting its authenticity.
Here’s the script in question, shared by Politico reporter Alex Thompson.
Thompson said in a later tweet that the document was authentic because Sanders’ campaign did not deny the authenticity before he published it, and the document read “Paid for By Bernie 2020.” He also tweeted: “I re-typed script below to protect sourcing.”
Shortly after the news broke, Warren’s campaign sent out a fundraising email saying that this was not true of her supporters.
Meanwhile, Buzzfeed reported that Sanders said, “I think this is a little bit of a media blow up. The kind of wants conflict. Elizabeth Warren is a very good friend of mine. We have worked together in the Senate for years. Elizabeth Warren and I continue to work together. We will debate the issues. Nobody is gonna trash Elizabeth… We have hundreds of employees. Elizabeth Warren has hundreds of employees. And people sometimes say things that they shouldn’t. You have heard me give many speeches. Have I ever said one word about Elizabeth Warren?”
When asked if he approved of the script, Sanders said, “Nooo. Of course I did not…”
Heavy has not obtained an original copy of the script to confirm it. ABC News also has not obtained a copy. Volunteers told Heavy that it was just on the Slack for a minute, was not posted by anyone connected to the campaign, and was quickly taken down by moderators.
Eric Isaac, a Kings County Democratic Committee Member, also posted on Twitter that the script came from a random user who had only posted once. A moderator said it wasn’t from the campaign.
The original copy of the script that was not retyped has not surfaced.
In a 2013 Interview, Sanders Said He’d Be Happy if Warren Ran for President
Back before the 2016 election, a lot of people wanted Elizabeth Warren to run for President. At the time, Bernie Sanders hadn’t decided yet if he would run or not. In 2013, he had an interview with Burlington Free Press about the 2016 campaign. That story has since been taken down and a search for it on the Internet Archive notes that the story has been “excluded” from the archive. (It appears all Burlington Free Press stories are excluded.) But you can still find other publications quoting from the story.
HuffPost and The Hill both published stories about the interview in 2013, quoting Sanders as saying that he would prefer not to run for President, but would if no one else would who was ready to challenge the establishment. He said that Warren could get his support if she ran. He was quoted as saying: “I like Elizabeth Warren very much. Her beauty is that she is very smart. She speaks English. She can explain economics in a way that everybody can understand.”