Sanders and Warren clash ahead of Iowa caucuses

Sanders and Warren clash ahead of Iowa caucuses

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Update: Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign released a statement Monday, saying that among the topics that came up in a December 2018 meeting between her and Sen. Bernie Sanders, was "what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed." She said she didn't want to discuss the meeting any further because she and Bernie had more in common than their differences on punditry.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said Sunday she's disappointed that her colleague, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), would encourage volunteers to badmouth her campaign, following a report about a script from the Sanders campaign that instructs his volunteers on how to speak to his rivals' fans.

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The script, as reported by Politico, seemingly aims to debase Warren and other presidential candidates as they head toward the first Iowa caucuses. When talking to Warren supporters, according to the memo, Sanders volunteers are supposed to insinuate that she appeals to people who 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]... In fact, she’s my second choice. But here’s my concern about her.” It then pivots to criticisms of Warren.

The script suggests that in talking to those who support South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, volunteers should point out that he lacks backing from African Americans and younger people while voters who like former vice president Joe Biden should be told that “he doesn’t really have any volunteers” and that “no one is really excited about him.”

President Trump would “clobber [Biden] on his Iraq war vote, for instance, and his support for free trade agreements. That's exactly what Trump did with Hillary and it's part of why Hillary lost."

Why it matters: Sanders, at least on the surface, has every reason to go after Warren. She's one of the top contenders in polls, they're closely matched in Iowa polls, and Warren shares similar ideologies with the progressive senator. But, the script could draw serious scrutiny for his campaign. He and Warren have agreed not to talk negatively about each other in public and to win the nomination based on policy ideas. Critics have also partly blamed Sanders' attack on Hillary Clinton for her 2016 loss.

It only took a few years for mainstream reporters to go from being biased to outright activists. Hang around LaCorte News to get some news without the spin.

Warren's response: "I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me. Bernie knows me and has known me for a long time. He knows who I am, where I come from, what I have worked on and fought for, and the coalition and grassroots movement we're trying to build," she told reporters in Iowa on Sunday.

“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 ... I hope Bernie reconsiders and turns his campaign in a different direction,” she added. “We cannot nominate someone who takes big chunks of the Democratic coalition for granted. We need someone who will bring our party together.”

Sanders denied any involvement in the creation or promotion of the script, suggesting that it might be the work of a rogue employee.

"Look I just read about it. We have over 500 people on our campaign. People do certain things. I'm sure that in Elizabeth's campaign, people do certain things as well. But you have heard me for months. I have never said a negative word about Elizabeth Warren who is a friend of mine. We have differences of issues, that's what the campaign is about, but no one is going to be attacking Elizabeth," Sanders told reporters.

His campaign, however, did not challenge the authenticity of the memo. Sanders' national press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray tweeted Sunday:

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