Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) on Monday defended Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who has been accused by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) of doubting a woman’s ability to win the presidency.
The congresswoman and presidential hopeful rushed to Sanders defense by tweeting that she, too, met with Sanders prior to announcing her presidential bid and adding Sanders showed her the “greatest respect” and “encouragement.”
“I also met with @BernieSanders before announcing my candidacy. We had a nice one-on-one conversation and I informed him that I would be running for President,” Gabbard wrote.
“In that meeting, he showed me the greatest respect and encouragement, just as he always has,” she added:
I also met with @BernieSanders before announcing my candidacy. We had a nice one-on-one conversation and I informed him that I would be running for President. In that meeting, he showed me the greatest respect and encouragement, just as he always has.
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) January 14, 2020
Gabbard’s tweet follows rising tensions between Warren and Sanders, who have long refrained from criticizing each other.
The Massachusetts senator was demonstratively bothered over reports of the Sanders campaign instructing volunteers to steer voters away from Warren with carefully crafted talking points, which included her purported inability to expand the Democrat base.
On Monday, Warren confirmed a CNN story alleging Sanders told Warren that a woman could not win the presidency during a private meeting that took place in 2018.
Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir has called the assertion a “lie,” and Sanders called it “ludicrous.”
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.
Warren, however, later affirmed CNN’s report in a statement.
“Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed,” Warren outlinedt:
NEW: Warren statement on her conversation with Bernie: “I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/o0ih3dGv5Y
— Molly Hensley-Clancy (@mollyhc) January 14, 2020
Warren added she had “no interest in discussing this private meeting any further.”
It is likely the topic will emerge during Tuesday evening’s debate, which will bring both of the candidates on the same stage.