(UnitedVoice.com) – After Tuesday night’s debate, some Democrats began expressing concern about their candidates’ ability to defeat President Trump in November. The new feud between Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) isn’t helping matters any.
If it’s starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day — the movie where Bill Murray’s character wakes up to repeat the same day over-and-over — you may have a good reason. Sanders’ supporters are claiming that the debate was rigged in favor of Warren. It’s an attitude reminiscent of when some Sanders’ supporters refused to support Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election over allegation the DNC rigged the primary.
There’s Trouble in the Hen House
Almost immediately after Tuesday night’s debate, Democrats began expressing real concerns.
On CNN, Van Jones offered Democrats little hope in his assessment:
“As a progressive, to see those two have that level of vitriol was very dispiriting. And I want to say that tonight for me was dispiriting. Democrats got to do better than what we saw tonight. There was nothing I saw tonight that would be able to take Donald Trump out, and I want to see a Democrat in the White House as soon as possible.”
On Twitter, former Obama Advisor David Axelrod accused Sanders of stirring “the embers of smoldering resentments from ‘16.”
Not a trivial thing that @BernieSanders felt the need to assure that he would fully support a woman if one should be nominated.
.@Ewarren tossed a hand grenade his way by asserting that he had told her a woman couldn’t win. Stirred the embers of smoldering resentments from ‘16.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) January 15, 2020
During the 2016 Democratic primary, both Clinton and the media accused Sanders and his campaign of sexism. The accusations would set the stage for hard feelings on both sides. One study shows that 12% of Sanders’ followers voted for Trump, which could have been enough votes to swing the election.
The Sanders and Warren Feud Intensifies
On Monday, Warren accused Sanders of overt sexism. In a 2018 personal conversation between the two colleagues, Warren claims Sanders said a woman couldn’t win the nomination.
During the debate Sanders said, “Well, as a matter of fact, I didn’t say it… Anybody who knows me knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman cannot be President of the United States.”
Immediately after Sanders’ denial, Warren doubled down and said, “I disagreed. Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie. 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.”
After the debate, Warren approached Sanders and refused to shake his hand. The private conversation that followed was clearly uncomfortable for both of them.
On Wednesday morning, #NeverWarren was trending heavily on Twitter. Much of the tweets were by Sanders’ supporters attacking Warren.
Allegations the Debate was Rigged
In another rewind to 2016, supporters of Sanders are claiming the Iowa debate was rigged in favor of Warren.
On Monday, CNN released the article with Warren’s accusation of sexism. During Tuesday night’s debate, CNN moderators appeared to be out to get Sanders.
One example was the exchange between CNN moderator Abby Phillips, Sanders, and Warren:
“Phillips: You’re saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman couldn’t win the election?
Phillips: Warren, what did you think when Sanders said a woman couldn’t win the election?
Warren: I disagreed. Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie.”
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley said on Twitter of the exchange:
CNN has long been viewed as anti-Sanders, but this is incredible. After asking Sanders to repeat his denial, Abby Phillips asserted that Sanders was lying: “Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?”
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) January 15, 2020
In a separate example, Sanders’ campaign co-chair Nina Turner tweeted several examples of what she determined to be clear bias throughout the evening:
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) January 15, 2020
Trouble Is Brewing in the Democratic Party
If Sanders is not the nominee, will some of his supporters bail on the Democratic candidate and vote for Trump a second time?
Former Senior Aide to President Obama Rahm Emanuel said, “You need a candidate with a message that can help us win swing voters in battleground states. The degree of difficulty dramatically increases under a Bernie Sanders candidacy. It just gets a lot harder.”
Moderate Democrats fear that Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, may just get the nomination and that it could have a disastrous effect by helping Trump win a second term and electing enough Republicans to take back the house.
Rep. Connor Lamb (D-PA) is concerned about his western Pennsylvania district. When asked if Sanders could win his district Lamb said, “I think it would be really hard.”
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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