WASHINGTON (AP) — Jane O’Meara Sanders, the wife of Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, has a clear message about the simmering dispute between her husband and Elizabeth Warren: It’s over.
O’Meara Sanders defended her husband’s integrity during a Wednesday interview, but she declined to attack Warren — or inflame the feud in any way — a day after the Massachusetts senator reiterated during a nationally televised debate that Sanders, a Vermont senator, told her privately that a woman couldn’t defeat President Donald Trump.
“I think that this discussion is over,” O’Meara Sanders told The Associated Press.
The leading liberal presidential contenders have been trying to de-escalate the feud almost since Warren inexplicably made the explosive allegation on the eve of this week’s debate, claiming that Sanders questioned the viability of a female presidential candidate during a private conversation in 2018. The subsequent attempts to tamp down the conflict, from the candidates on the debate stage Tuesday night and from their chief surrogates on Wednesday, reflect the dangerous stakes surrounding a fight that threatens to tear apart the Democratic Party’s progressive base less than three weeks before presidential primary voting begins.
O’Meara Sanders said their campaign has no interest in promoting divisions “like Trump does by gender, race or ethnicity.”
“We remain committed to continuing a progressive movement made up of women and men, black and white, gay an straight,” she said. “The message is unity.”
At the same time, she described her husband as “a person that everybody can trust” and pushed back against Warren’s accusation.
“Maybe people sometimes misremember things that happened,” she said. “But I know without a doubt that it is not anything Bernie would ever say. It is inconceivable because it’s not what he believes. And there’s proof of that going back many, many years.”
“I’m not attacking Elizabeth Warren in any way, shape or form on this,” O’Meara Sanders continued. “My message is Bernie is trying to bring people together.”
Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”