The end of Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate featured what appeared to be a testy exchange between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
The progressive senators have been at odds this week, after CNN reported Monday that Sanders told Warren in a private December 2018 meeting he did not believe a woman could win the presidential election.
Sanders, for his part, has vehemently denied the report’s claims.
Sanders and Warren discussed the matter during Tuesday night’s debate in Des Moines, Iowa, with Sanders once again denying the CNN report.
After the debate was over, some of the candidates greeted each other with handshakes.
Warren shook hands with former Vice President Joe Biden and placed her hand on his arm.
Then, she walked toward Sanders.
Sanders reached out his hand toward Warren, but the Massachusetts senator appeared to refuse to extend her arm.
Warren appeared to then have a somewhat animated exchange with Sanders, though it was hard to tell what the two senators were saying to each other.
After a few moments, businessman and fellow candidate Tom Steyer walked behind them and appeared to encourage Sanders to walk away.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 15, 2020
The incident had social media buzzing:
Warren refused to shake Bernie’s hand. But yeah, it is Bernie who is negative.
— Star Stuff (@BernieBroStar) January 15, 2020
Wish I knew what Warren was saying to Bernie when she refused to shake his hand after the #DemDebate. Bernie looked pissed.
— SwtSwtJane (@SwtSwtJane) January 15, 2020
Elizabeth Warren refused to shake her “friend” Bernie’s hand. Wtf. #DemocraticDebate
— JenDotMartin (@jjma77) January 15, 2020
Damn. After loving shake and arm pat to Biden, Warren won’t even shake Bernie’s hand. Instead awkward discussion ensues and very stumped Steyer. pic.twitter.com/g9zBHupekZ
— francesca fiorentini (@franifio) January 15, 2020
As one user noted, seemingly summing up what everyone was feeling, the only thing missing was a hot mic.
“I don’t know what they were saying,” Steyer told MSNBC after the altercation.
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) January 15, 2020
“All I was trying to say was to both Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders was: ‘It’s great to see you. Thank you for participating in this.’ And whatever they were going on between each other I was trying to get out of the way as fast as possible.”
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