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By Kevin Vorrath

As the field of Democratic candidates has continued to dwindle in the days leading up to the Iowa Caucus on February 3, it appears two former allies in the race have turned on each other. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), the two most progressive candidates running for the Democratic nomination, have largely avoided attacking each other throughout the campaign season. It’s been widely reported that the two have held a pact to not attack each other, so as to not weaken the progressive movement. That suddenly changed on January 13, when a CNN report alleged that Senator Sanders stated to Warren in a closed door meeting in 2018 his belief that a woman could not win the presidency. Sanders has vehemently denied saying such a thing.
Days later at a Democratic Debate on January 15 in Des Moines the two were asked for their account of the conversation by CNN correspondent Abby Phillips. Sanders stated that he never said that he believed a woman could not win the presidency, while speaking about his long history of supporting women. Philips then followed up by asking Warren, “what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?” This biased question shows us that CNN and Philips believed Warren’s account of the conversation. After the debate concluded the two got into a verbal exchange where Warren accused Sanders of calling her a liar on national television, with Sanders responding that “now is not the time for this conversation.” Afterwards #NeverWarren was trending on Twitter with Bernie supporters sharing their displeasure with the senator and CNN. Fresh in the minds of many Bernie supporters are the events of the 2016 Democrtaic primary, where leaked emails suggested that the DNC had rigged the nomination towards former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
It was refreshing to see the other side see CNN’s shoddy journalism techniques firstahand. CNN for years has attempted to maintain their image as neutral while concurrently shifting towards the left. With the questioning from the debate, many Sanders supporters were left wondering how CNN could be so blatantly biased. However if you look at the network’s coverage of conservatives, particularly president Trump, it’s been clear that the network has been far from fair to everyone the past several years.
The events of the past several days have come at a time when support for Sanders has risen, while Warren’s has fallen according to the Real Clear Politics Average, leading many to question the legitimacy of the allegations. While we may never know the true details of the two candidates’ conversation, the rift between the two was inevitable in many ways. As candidates have continued to withdraw from the race, the two have needed to differentiate themselves from one another, as many of their policies and views are similar, most notably being Medicare for all. If one of the two wants to be the nominee, they need to capture the others’ voters to build enough support to overtake the current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, who still holds a sizable lead (RCP Average) despite appearing absolutely braindead multiple times throughout the campaign.
While we will most likely never know what was truly said in their conversation, I personally find it hard to believe that Sanders would say such a thing to Warren. His history in politics indicates that that would be unlikely. More probable, however, could be that Sanders shared that he believed Warren as a candidate could not win the presidency. I’m actually fairly intrigued as to why people would support Warren over Sanders in the first place, as she just comes off as very inauthentic to me. Despite disagreeing with Bernie’s views on pretty much everything, I can see why people support him. When you listen to him, you can clearly tell he is passionate about what he is saying and has a long track record showing his progressivism. Warren has only moved to the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party in recent years and does not have the same long history supporting the movement that Sanders does. Finally, on February 3, we will get to see what some of the public thinks about the candidates with the Iowa Caucus and get a clearer picture as to who will be taking on President Trump in the general election.

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