Sanders and Warren: The Feud Gets Personal

Sanders and Warren: The Feud Gets Personal

( – With less than three weeks to go before the Iowa caucus — the first test of the election season — the Democratic primary is entering a new phase. Tensions are mounting as candidates jockey to win the nomination this summer. It’s starting to get especially vicious between senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Allegations of “he said, she said” are turning the once cordial colleagues and friends into competitive pariahs as the attacks heat up.

Sanders and Warren are beating each other up over allegations of sexism and creating factions that could ultimately divide the party and hand Trump a second term in November.

Any major attacks between Democrats could spell trouble for the DNC nominee going up against President Trump this fall. The president has a major financial war chest and will enter the general election this summer with no resistance from the Republican party.

Sanders’ Campaign “Trashes” Warren Over the Weekend

Last weekend, the Sanders’ campaign created a script that volunteers used to persuade Warren-leaning voters that her base is too narrow and doesn’t bring in new Democrat voters. Therefore, they shouldn’t waste their vote on someone who can’t win.

The script said, “I like Elizabeth Warren. [optional] In fact, she’s my second choice. But here’s my concern about her….people who support her 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.”

This script drew a quick and decisive response from the Warren campaign. They suggested that Sanders’ campaign divided the party in 2016 and hurt Hillary Clinton at the expense of helping Trump. Warren said she was “disappointed Sanders was sending his volunteers out to trash me… We all saw the impact of the factionalism in 2016, and we can’t have a repeat of that. Democrats need to unite our party.”

Warren Accuses Sanders’ of Sexism

In a highly unusual statement on Monday night, Warren accused Sanders of making a sexist statement in a personal one-on-one meeting in 2018. “Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he (Sanders) disagreed.”

Sanders fired back and said, “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.” He further stated, “Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.”

Sanders’ History of Sexism

Since the 2016 election, some have seen Sanders as part of the reason why Clinton lost to Trump. That wound may not have healed with some Democratic women. It was alleged that Sanders’ supporters were extremely aggressive with journalists and political opponents.

Coined the “Bernie Bros,” the actions of these specific supporters were said to be sexist and created deep resentment among some Democratic voters. It was also alleged that the campaign enabled a hostile work environment for women. Several women came forward and said they were paid less than men on the campaign and experienced sexual harassment.

Sanders apologized and said he and his campaign would “do better.”

After the 2016 campaign, Sanders made matters worse when he said, “It is not good enough for someone to say: ‘I’m a woman! Vote for me!’ No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies.”

Could the Sanders/Warren Split Help Trump?

One of the criticisms of the split between the two long-time friends is that their feud could once again split voters and open the door to a more moderate Democrat to win the primary. Most in the progressive wing of the party believe a moderate cannot beat Trump.

Since 2015, Democrats have accused Trump of sexism and have tried to make the moral argument against him. The question is… will Democrats allow the moral argument to be used against each other?

Either way, it could bode well for Trump’s re-election efforts.

By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor

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