Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) quickly moved to correct Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at the Democratic primary debate in Iowa on Tuesday after he refuted Warren’s claim that she was the only candidate onstage to have defeated a Republican incumbent over the last 30 years.
“The only person who has beaten an incumbent Republican any time in the last 30 years is me,” Warren added.
“Just to set the record straight, I defeated an incumbent Republican running for Congress,” Sanders said later when it was his turn to speak.
“When?” Warren asked.
“1990,” Sanders responded as Warren appeared to count in her head. “That’s how I won. I beat an incumbent congressman.”
“Thirty years ago?” Warren said. “I said I was the only one who’s beaten an incumbent Republican in 30 years.”
“Well, 30 years ago is 1990, as a matter of fact,” Sanders said. “But I don’t know that that is the major issue of the day.”
Bernie Sanders: Just to set the record straight I defeated an incumbent Republican running for Congress
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) January 15, 2020
Sanders defeated former Vermont Republican Rep. Peter Smith in 1990 to win his House seat. Smith was in his first term.
The exchange comes amid newfound tension between the Sanders and Warren campaigns.
CNN reported — and Warren confirmed — on Monday that Sanders told her in a private meeting in 2018 that he did not believe a woman could be president.
Sanders disputed the remarks at Tuesday’s debate.
“Anyone who knows me knows that it is incomprehensible that I do not think a woman could be president of the United States,” he said.