Top Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are at loggerheads with Warren accusing Sanders of sexism. On Monday (January 13, 2020), Warren said Sanders told her in 2018 that a woman cannot become the president, an allegation Sanders has vehemently rejected. The issue featured at the Democratic debate at Iowa on Tuesday. After the debate concluded and the candidates shook hands, Warren refused to shake Sanders' hand, instead confronting him for calling her "a liar on national TV".
"I think you called me a liar on national TV"
"Joe, good job," Warren said, extending her hand to former vice-president Joe Biden after the debate. "Good to see you."
"Good job, Pete (Buttigieg)," Sanders said. "Good job, Amy (Klobuchar)."
When Vermont senator Sanders extended his hand for a handshake, Warren didn't reciprocate. Then a heated exchange of words took place between them.
"I think you called me a liar on national TV," Warren said.
"What?" Sanders responded.
"I think you called me a liar on national TV," she repeated.
"You know, let's not do it right now. If you want to have that discussion, we'll have that discussion," Sanders said, to which Warren replied, "Anytime".
"You called me a liar. You told me - all right, let's not do it now," Sanders replied, before turning back and walking away.
Businessman Tom Steyer, who was standing behind them throughout the conversation, then spoke up. "I don't want to get in the middle. I just want to say hi Bernie," he said.
The issue featured in the debate as well. When asked by moderators, Warren called Sanders, her "friend" and that she wasn't there "to try to fight with Bernie", before making a stronger case as to how the two women candidates, Klobuchar and herself, were better equipped to become president, winning applause from the audience.
Sanders firmly denied the allegations and said he did not want to waste a whole lot of time on the issue because a fight between them is what President Donald Trump and some of the media wanted.
"Anybody who knows me, knows that it's incomprehensible that I would think that a woman could not be president to the United States. Go to YouTube today. They have some video of me 30 years ago talking about how a woman could become president of the United States," he said.