Warren: "I Disagreed" With Bernie When He Told Me A Woman Can't Win, I Have Won Every Single Election | Video | RealClearPolitics

Warren: "I Disagreed" With Bernie When He Told Me A Woman Can't Win, I Have Won Every Single Election

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At Tuesday's night Democratic presidential debate hosted by CNN, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) gave her side of a leaked private conversation she had with Sen. Bernie Sanders in December 2018 where he allegedly told her a woman can't win in 2020. Warren said that every man on the stage has lost an election and has not faced a Republican incumbent in over 30 years while she has won every single election.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?

(LAUGHTER)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): 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.

And I think the best way to talk about who can win is by looking at people's winning record. So, can a woman beat Donald Trump?

Look at the men on this stage. Collectively, they have lost 10 elections.

(LAUGHTER)

The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they've been in are the women...

(APPLAUSE)

... Amy and me.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): So true.

(APPLAUSE)

So true.

(APPLAUSE)

WARREN: And the only person on this stage who has beaten an incumbent Republican any time in the past 30 years is me.

And here's what I know. The real danger that we face as Democrats is picking a candidate who can't pull our party together or someone who takes for granted big parts of the Democratic constituency.

We need a candidate who will excite all parts of the Democratic Party, bring everyone in and give everyone a Democrat to believe in. That's my plan and that is why I'm going to win.

PHILLIP: Senator Klobuchar...

(APPLAUSE)

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

PHILLIP: Senator Klobuchar, what do you say to people who don't...

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you, Elizabeth.

PHILLIP: Senator Klobuchar, what do you say...

KLOBUCHAR: I would like to point out...

PHILLIP: Senator Klobuchar, let me finish my question.

KLOBUCHAR: Oh, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

PHILLIP: What do you say to people who...

KLOBUCHAR: I thought it was such an open-end -- I wasn't at the meeting, so I can't comment, but I was going to say...

(LAUGHTER)

PHILLIP: What do you say to people who say that a woman can't win this election?

KLOBUCHAR: I hear that. People have said it. That's why I've addressed it from this stage. I point out that you don't have to be the tallest person in the room. James Madison was 5'4". You don't have to be the skinniest person in the room. You don't have to be the loudest person. You have to be competent.

And when you look at the facts, Michigan has a woman governor right now and she beat a Republican, Gretchen Whitmer. Kansas has a woman governor right now and she beat Kris Kobach. And her name is -- I'm very proud to know her, and her name is Governor Kelly. Thank you.

Third, I would add to this, you have to be competent to win and you have to know what you're doing. And when you look at what I have done, I have won every race, every place, every time. I have won in the reddest of districts. I have won in the suburban areas, in the rural areas. I have brought people with me.

That is why I have the most endorsements of current Iowa legislators and former Iowa legislators in this race.

PHILLIP: Thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: Because they know I bring people with me.

And finally, every single person...

PHILLIP: Thank you, Senator Klobuchar.

KLOBUCHAR: ... that I have beaten, my Republican opponents, have gotten out of politics for good.

(LAUGHTER)

And I think -- I think that sounds pretty good. I think that sounds pretty good with the guy we have in the White House right now.

(LAUGHTER)

PHILLIP: Senator Sanders, you can respond.

SANDERS: Well, just to set the record straight, I defeated an incumbent Republican running for Congress.

WARREN: When?

SANDERS: Nineteen-ninety.

That's how I won, beat a republican congressman.

(LAUGHTER)

Number two...

WARREN: Thirty years ago.

SANDERS: ... of course, I don't think there's any debate up here...

WARREN: Wasn't it 30 years ago?

SANDERS: I beat an incumbent Republican congressman.

WARREN: And I said I was the only one who's beaten an incumbent Republican in 30 years.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: Well, 30 years ago is 1990, as a matter of fact.

(LAUGHTER)

But I don't know that that's the major issue of the day. I think what the major issue of the day is -- let's -- does anybody in their right mind think that a woman cannot be elected president?

That's -- nobody believes that. Of -- Hillary Clinton got 3 million votes, more votes than Trump. So who believes that a woman can't win? Of course, a woman can win.

But the real question is, how do we beat Trump?

And the only way we beat Trump is by a campaign of energy and excitement and a campaign that has, by far, the largest voter turnout in the history of this country. And I believe that our campaign has the strongest grassroots movement...

PHILLIP: Thank you.

SANDERS: We have been endorsed by many grassroots organizations...

PHILLIP: Senator Warren --

SANDERS: That's why...

(CROSSTALK)

PHILLIP: Senator Warren, I want to give you the final word.

WARREN: So I do think it's the right question, "How do we beat Trump?"

And here's the thing. Since Donald Trump was elected, women candidates have out-performed men candidates in competitive races. And in 2018, we took back the House; we took back statehouses, because of women candidates and women voters.

Look, don't deny that the question is there. Back in the 1960s, people asked, "Could a Catholic win?"

Back in 2008, people asked if an African-American could win.

In both times the Democratic Party stepped up and said yes, got behind their candidate and we changed America. That's who we are.


Sanders gives his side of the conversation:

PHILLIP: Let's now turn to -- let's now turn to an issue that's come up in the last 48 hours. Senator Sanders, CNN reported yesterday that -- and Senator Sanders, Senator Warren confirmed in a statement, that in 2018 you told her that you did not believe that a woman could win the election. Why did you say that? 
 
SANDERS: Well, as a matter of fact, 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. Anybody knows me knows that it's incomprehensible that I would think that a woman cannot be president of the United States. 
 
Go to YouTube today. There's a video of me 30 years ago talking about how a woman could become president of the United States. In 2015, I deferred, in fact, to Senator Warren. There was a movement to draft Senator Warren to run for president. And you know what, I said -- stayed back. Senator Warren decided not to run, and I then -- I did run afterwards.
 
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes. How could anybody in a million years not believe that a woman could become president of the United States? And let me be very clear. If any of the women on this stage or any of the men on this stage win the nomination, I hope that's not the case, I hope it's me.
 
(LAUGHTER)
 
But if they do, I will do everything in my power to make sure that they are elected in order to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of our country.

(APPLAUSE)
 
PHILLIP: So Senator Sanders -- Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here, you're saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election?
 
SANDERS: That is correct. 



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