As Iowa and New Hampshire contests near and Dems debate on TV tonight, open warfare breaking out between Sanders and Warren

We may finally get a Democrat debate tonight that isn't deathly boring for a change.  Elizabeth Warren, facing declining poll numbers, is attacking Bernie Sanders with the claim that in a private meeting 13 months ago, he told her that a woman could not win the presidency.  M.J Lee of CNN broke the story yesterday:

The stakes were high when Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren met at Warren's apartment in Washington, DC, one evening in December 2018. The longtime friends knew that they could soon be running against each other for president.

The two agreed that if they ultimately faced each other as presidential candidates, they should remain civil and avoid attacking one another, so as not to hurt the progressive movement. They also discussed how to best take on President Donald Trump, and Warren laid out two main reasons she believed she would be a strong candidate: She could make a robust argument about the economy and earn broad support from female voters.

Sanders responded that he did not believe a woman could win.

The description of that meeting is based on the accounts of four people: two people Warren spoke with directly soon after the encounter, and two people familiar with the meeting.

What does "people familiar with the meeting" even mean?  Those four people amount to thin sourcing, particularly given Warren's habit of lying when it serves to advance her career interest, as with her claim to Native American status and her plagiarized recipe for the book Pow Wow Chow, ostensibly a collection of Native American recipes.

Bernie's campaign is vigorously disputing the claim:

Sanders' campaign released an angry statement from the Vermont senator in response to the CNN report.

"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," Sanders said. "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."

But in a discussion of President Trump's tactics, according to Sanders, sexism did come up during their conversation.

"What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could," he said.

He went on to invoke his primary opponent in 2016, who defeated him for the Democratic nod but lost to Mr. Trump in the general election. "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 said.

Sanders has a long history of claiming that a woman could be elected president:


YouTube screen grab.

It had previously been reported that at that same December 2018 meeting, Sanders and Warren, rivals for the progressive vote, had agreed to not attack each other.  But it appears that Bernie cast the first stone in this Sunday report from Politico:

The nonaggression pact between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren is seriously fraying.

Sanders' campaign has begun stealthily attacking Warren as a candidate of the upper crust who could not expand the Democratic base in a general election, according to talking points his campaign is using to sway voters and obtained by POLITICO.

The script instructs Sanders volunteers to tell voters leaning toward the Massachusetts senator that the "people who support her are highly-educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what" and that "she's bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party."

"I like Elizabeth Warren. [optional]" the script begins. "In fact, she's my second choice. But here's my concern about her." It then pivots to the criticisms of Warren.

The Sanders campaign did not challenge the authenticity of the script, but it declined to comment. 

Cheated out of the nomination in 2016, Sanders apparently is playing hardball this time around:

The document also instructs to tell voters who are favorable toward Pete Buttigieg that he lacks support among African Americans and young people and to tell voters sympathetic to former Vice President Joe Biden that "he doesn't really have any volunteers" and that "no one is really excited about him." All of the attacks relate to the electability of Sanders' top rivals.

Will open warfare break out between Sanders and Warren tonight?  Will Sanders call Warren a liar, hitting her hard on a point where she is most vulnerable?  I certainly hope so.  My guess is that the three moderators, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, WaPo's White House correspondent Abby Phillip, and Des Moines Register political correspondent Brianne Pfannenstiel, will shy away from provoking an attack that could damage the eventual nominee.

But Sanders, whatever else you might say about him, is not shy about expressing his preferences — including his love of genuine socialism, where all the means of production belong to the state, not the watered down welfare state on top of a market economy version that leftists usually fall back on.

Reason TV has put together a 16-minute video with Bernie Sanders's long history of defending communism over the years.

We may finally get a Democrat debate tonight that isn't deathly boring for a change.  Elizabeth Warren, facing declining poll numbers, is attacking Bernie Sanders with the claim that in a private meeting 13 months ago, he told her that a woman could not win the presidency.  M.J Lee of CNN broke the story yesterday:

The stakes were high when Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren met at Warren's apartment in Washington, DC, one evening in December 2018. The longtime friends knew that they could soon be running against each other for president.

The two agreed that if they ultimately faced each other as presidential candidates, they should remain civil and avoid attacking one another, so as not to hurt the progressive movement. They also discussed how to best take on President Donald Trump, and Warren laid out two main reasons she believed she would be a strong candidate: She could make a robust argument about the economy and earn broad support from female voters.

Sanders responded that he did not believe a woman could win.

The description of that meeting is based on the accounts of four people: two people Warren spoke with directly soon after the encounter, and two people familiar with the meeting.

What does "people familiar with the meeting" even mean?  Those four people amount to thin sourcing, particularly given Warren's habit of lying when it serves to advance her career interest, as with her claim to Native American status and her plagiarized recipe for the book Pow Wow Chow, ostensibly a collection of Native American recipes.

Bernie's campaign is vigorously disputing the claim:

Sanders' campaign released an angry statement from the Vermont senator in response to the CNN report.

"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," Sanders said. "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."

But in a discussion of President Trump's tactics, according to Sanders, sexism did come up during their conversation.

"What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could," he said.

He went on to invoke his primary opponent in 2016, who defeated him for the Democratic nod but lost to Mr. Trump in the general election. "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 said.

Sanders has a long history of claiming that a woman could be elected president:


YouTube screen grab.

It had previously been reported that at that same December 2018 meeting, Sanders and Warren, rivals for the progressive vote, had agreed to not attack each other.  But it appears that Bernie cast the first stone in this Sunday report from Politico:

The nonaggression pact between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren is seriously fraying.

Sanders' campaign has begun stealthily attacking Warren as a candidate of the upper crust who could not expand the Democratic base in a general election, according to talking points his campaign is using to sway voters and obtained by POLITICO.

The script instructs Sanders volunteers to tell voters leaning toward the Massachusetts senator that the "people who support her are highly-educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what" and that "she's bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party."

"I like Elizabeth Warren. [optional]" the script begins. "In fact, she's my second choice. But here's my concern about her." It then pivots to the criticisms of Warren.

The Sanders campaign did not challenge the authenticity of the script, but it declined to comment. 

Cheated out of the nomination in 2016, Sanders apparently is playing hardball this time around:

The document also instructs to tell voters who are favorable toward Pete Buttigieg that he lacks support among African Americans and young people and to tell voters sympathetic to former Vice President Joe Biden that "he doesn't really have any volunteers" and that "no one is really excited about him." All of the attacks relate to the electability of Sanders' top rivals.

Will open warfare break out between Sanders and Warren tonight?  Will Sanders call Warren a liar, hitting her hard on a point where she is most vulnerable?  I certainly hope so.  My guess is that the three moderators, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, WaPo's White House correspondent Abby Phillip, and Des Moines Register political correspondent Brianne Pfannenstiel, will shy away from provoking an attack that could damage the eventual nominee.

But Sanders, whatever else you might say about him, is not shy about expressing his preferences — including his love of genuine socialism, where all the means of production belong to the state, not the watered down welfare state on top of a market economy version that leftists usually fall back on.

Reason TV has put together a 16-minute video with Bernie Sanders's long history of defending communism over the years.