Iowa Democratic Debate 2020: Warren refuses to shake hands with Sanders as equation between them worsens

Iowa Democratic Debate 2020: Warren refuses to shake hands with Sanders as equation between them worsens
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Issues quickly heated up ahead of the Iowa caucuses in the first test of the election season.

Six Democratic candidates converged at the seventh presidential debate of the party at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and the show was stolen by two top contenders for the nomination — senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The debate took place just days after reports came out saying Sanders told Warren at a private meeting in 2018 that women cannot become the president of the US.

The two individuals, both heavyweights this election season, took odd stances on this and on Sanders was asked about the same by moderator Abby Phillip in Iowa debate, he denied it again. And Warren was waiting for the event to get over.

Sanders said such things were being wanted by Trump and a section of the media and tried to establish his credentials as a gender-neutral politician. Warren said, on the other hand, was also hard-hitting in her take.

"...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. I think the best way to talk about who can win is by looking at people's winning record. So, can a woman beat Donald Trump?"


"Look at the men on this stage: Collectively, they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they've been in are the women," the Massachusetts senator said. She reiterated that she disagreed with her Democratic opponent. 

Amy Klobuchar, the senator from Minnesota who is the only other woman in the fray, also refused to buy the line and said only competency mattered.

Soon after the debate concluded, as the dispersing candidates shook each other's hands, something uncomfortable happened for viewers. Sanders extended his hand towards Warren but the latter instead chose to engage with him in a conversation. Tom Steyer was the man standing closest to them.

It was not clear what exactly they said but going by lip-reading, it could be seen that Sanders asked: "What?" The two then had a few words but then the Vermont senator was seen gesturing as if he is not interested to take it any further. The two then turned around and walked away. Watch the entire interaction here.


That things are not particularly okay between the two senator candidates could be seen when the debate started. Sanders was all smiles when he met Joe Biden on the stage but was less outgoing towards Warren as she entered the stage although they shook hands.

In his closing statement after the debate, the 78-year-old Sanders said: "This is the moment when we have got to think big, not small." Are the Democrats really abiding by it in their mission to topple Donald Trump?

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 Iowa Debate 2020 Elizabeth Warren refuse shake hands Bernie Sanders relationships plummet