Were we watching the Democratic debate, or a hot mic moment from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Much to Twitter’s delight, the audio from that awkward confrontation between presidential candidates and friends Elizabeth Warren, 70, and Bernie Sanders, 78, after the Jan. 14 debate in Des Moines finally aired on CNN. Warren had refused to shake Sanders’ hand, and now we know why: instead of a “hello,” she approached the Vermont senator with a big accusation. “I think you called me a liar on national TV,” Warren told Sanders, gunning straight for it. Taken aback, the older senator replied, “What?”
“I think you called me a liar on national TV,” Warren said again, not backing down. Sanders tried to maneuver his escape. “You know, let’s not do it right now. If you want to have that discussion, we’ll have that discussion,” he said, to which Warren said, “Anytime.” But suddenly, it escalated from there. “You called me a liar — you told me,” Sanders said, winding up again, before settling down: “All right, let’s not do it now.”
With that, Sanders tried to walk away, but his getaway was thwarted by fellow Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, 62. Apparently, the hedge fund manager couldn’t read the room. “I don’t want to get in the middle of it. I just want to say hi, Bernie,” Tom said, making this unbelievable moment even better.
And lol Tom Steyer at the end: "I don’t want to get in the middle of it. I just want to say hi Bernie."
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) January 16, 2020
Warren was clearly surprised that Sanders made her statement about their reported personal conversation, which allegedly took place at Warren’s apartment in Dec. 2018, simply look like a piece of gossip! A night before the Democratic debate in Des Moines, Elizabeth confirmed a CNN report that claimed Sanders didn’t believe a woman could win the presidential election. In a surprise move, she backed up the rumor with her own statement, per The New York Times: “Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.” However, the statement ended friendly enough, with the Massachusetts senator writing that she and Sanders have “more in common than our differences on punditry.”
WATCH: Bernie Sanders responds to reports that he told Elizabeth Warren that a woman couldn't win the election: "Well, as a matter of fact, I didn't say it." pic.twitter.com/ZxwDqiQhfC
— Axios (@axios) January 15, 2020
But those buddy-buddy feelings quickly dissipated after Sanders flat-out denied both the report and Warren’s statement. “Well, as a matter of fact, I didn’t say it,” Sanders said at the debate, after a CNN commentator asked about Warren’s claim. Sanders later added, “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.”
Warren was appalled, but didn’t pick a fight — not right away, anyways. “I am not here to try to fight with Bernie,” she said. “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.” Well, the senator followed through on her word! Whether you’re thinking about voting for Sanders or Warren, or someone else entirely, it’s important to get to that polling station during the upcoming primaries AND November general election. If you haven’t done so already, you can register to vote below!