Stephen Colbert went live after the first Democratic debate of 2020 Tuesday night. And he spent the bulk of his opening monologue digging into the drama that unfolded between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on stage in Des Moines, Iowa.
“Last night, news leaked that Bernie Sanders evidently told Elizabeth Warren in a private 2018 meeting that a woman can’t win the presidency,” the Late Show host explained. “Now, Bernie’s denied it. But Warren said that ‘among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.’ Well, that’s a real he said, she said he said what he just said he didn’t say.”
Asked about the alleged comments by CNN moderator Abby Phillip, Sanders not only denied making that claim but also defended his reputation by saying, “Anybody who knows me knows that it’s incomprehensible that I would think that a woman cannot be president of the United States.” He urged viewers to “go to YouTube today” to find a video of him endorsing the idea of a female president 30 years ago.
“Yes, if you want to see Bernie say nice things about female presidential candidates, go to YouTube,” Colbert said. “If you want to see his supporters saying terrible things about them, go to the comments section.”
When it was time for Warren to respond, Phillip first confirmed with Sanders that he “never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election” before asking Warren, “what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?”
“Who wrote these questions, Andy Cohen?” Colbert joked.
While Warren declined the opportunity to directly attack Sanders, the host noted that she “brought down the hammer” by pointing out that only the two women on stage had won all of the elections they’ve run in whereas the men had collectively lost 10 elections over their respective careers.
“Wow!” Colbert responded. “Not only have they lost 10 elections, now they’ve lost their balls to Elizabeth Warren.”
For more, listen to the most recent episodes of The Last Laugh podcast.