Jan 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sanders says age, gender, sexuality could all be construed as 2020 obstacles

Bernie Sanders

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said on New Hampshire Public Radio Sunday that gender could be viewed as an "obstacle" for female politicians running for president, but that everyone has their "own set of problems" — such as his own age, for example — and that it's important to look at the "totality" of a candidate.

Why it matters: Sanders is continuing to deal with the fallout from Sen. Elizabeth Warren's claim that he told her in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency. Sanders has denied saying this, stressing on Sunday that the country has come a long way over the past few decades and that anyone can become president.

What they're saying: "There are a lot of people who say I like Bernie, he’s a nice guy, but he’s 78 years of age," Sanders said. "And so we have to argue please look at the totality of who I am. If you’re looking at Buttigieg, he’s a young guy. People will say he’s too young to be president."

  • He continued: "You look at Elizabeth, she is a woman. Everybody brings some negatives if you’d like. I would just hope very much that the American people look at the totality of a candidate, not at their gender, not at their sexuality, not at their age but at everything. Nobody is perfect."

The big picture: Both Sanders and Warren, progressive candidates who have had a non-aggression pact throughout the campaign, have sought to downplay the rift as the Iowa caucuses near. Sanders said Sunday that the media has "blown this thing up" and that he doesn't want to discuss it further, while Warren declined to comment at a campaign event in Iowa.

Go deeper: Sanders-Warren battle upstaged by viral right-wing media

Go deeper