Trump: 'I don't believe that Bernie said that'

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MILWAUKEE — At a campaign rally here Tuesday night just ahead of the Democratic debate, President Donald Trump referred to the latest rift between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. 

“I don’t believe that Bernie said that, I really don’t,” Trump said of reports that Sanders told Warren in a private conversation that a woman could not win the presidency. 

“A woman can win for president,” Trump said, laughing at a member in the crowd who shouted “Melania!”

Jan. 15, 202001:09

Biden aides say he intends to stay out of Warren-Sanders fray

There’s at least one candidate who will not be getting into the fray at all between Warren and Sanders: Biden. Even though he will literally be standing between both of them, three Biden aides say that the former VP will do his best to stay out of the spat between the two most progressive candidates in the race.

Biden again avoided reporters’ questions about the Warren-Sanders feud at a stop in Des Moines on Monday night (he hasn’t held a formal gaggle with his traveling press corps in weeks). And his campaign opted not to hold its usual debate day briefing with reporters Tuesday in part to avoid being drawn into the fray.

Aides say Biden is prepared, however, to once again answer charges about his Iraq War record since they expect Sanders to bring it up during the debate. In recent weeks, Biden has been quick to dismiss Sanders’ jabs about the former vice president on Iraq and Biden’s inability to excite the party. Though Biden has largely avoided responding to Sanders directly, he has offered more than a few sarcastic asides lately, which he hasn’t done as much with other Democratic opponents in the race.

Biden really hasn’t gone after Warren in recent weeks, besides pointing out generally that some candidates like her have attacked him for what they believe is an unrealistic ability to unite the party.

Sanders posts ad attacking Biden ahead of debate

Surf Tax America

A New York Times graphic for tonight’s debate caught a bit of attention on Twitter for its surprising resemblance to Weezer’s classic debut album “Weezer,” which is better known as the Blue Album. 

Let’s hope this means the next debate is as good as “Pinkerton.”

Jan. 14, 202001:54

Buttigieg tweets thanks to Mandy Moore for her support

If you’re just catching up on the Sanders/Warren conflict…

Here’s what you need to know about the brewing tensions between Warren and Sanders:

Warren on Sunday called on Sanders to turn his campaign “in a different direction” after it reportedly provided talking points to its volunteers instructing them to paint Warren as the candidate of elites in conversations with voters.

Read more about that here.

Warren on Monday said that in 2018 told her that he didn’t think a woman could win the 2020 election — a statement the Sanders campaign had blasted as “a lie” earlier in the day.

“Bernie and I met for more than two hours in December 2018 to discuss the 2020 election, our past work together and our shared goals,” Warren said in a statement. “Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”

Read more about that here.

Dave Chappelle endorses Andrew Yang

Yang isn’t on the debate stage tonight, but he had some good news: an endorsement from comedian Dave Chappelle.

‘Who is Brianne Pfannenstiel?’ and everything else Google shows us about tonight’s debate

You might be wondering just who Brianne Pfannenstiel is, according to Google.

Searches for Pfannenstiel are up a whopping 4,200 percent (granted from what is probably a very small initial amount) ahead of tonight’s debate. 

Pfannenstiel, 31, is the top political correspondent for The Des Moines Register and a moderator for the debate, alongside CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Abby Phillip. 

As for how the candidates stack up against each other in terms of Google searches, Bernie Sanders currently retains the top spot, followed by Warren, Biden, Buttigieg and Steyer. 

ANALYSIS: Sanders needs to light a fire now. The question is whether he can control the blaze.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has stepped up an undeclared war on his top rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination — and left himself open to counterattack — because it’s do-or-die time for him.

Sanders, I-Vt., and his supporters are tangling with former Vice President Joe Biden over foreign policy, trade and race, and with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., over policy purity, elitism and whether he said a woman can’t win the presidency. The skirmishes rile up his base at the expense of alienating other Democrats.

While that’s a strategy that makes more sense here and in other early primary states, where a relatively small but committed army of supporters can deliver victory, it risks a severe backlash now or over the long run.

Yet Sanders’ best shot starts with his taking the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses, following up with wins in New Hampshire and Nevada and riding a wave to a majority of delegates before the party’s convention in Milwaukee in July.

That is, he needs to light a fire now. The question is whether he can control the blaze.

Read more here.

Iowa roiled by Democratic infighting weeks before first-in-nation vote

DES MOINES, Iowa — This isn’t how the home stretch before the Iowa caucus was supposed to go.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., seemed to have been telegraphing a willingness to take on former Vice President Joe Biden for his judgment on the Iraq War, amid the escalating tensions with Iran. That was the singular focus until the conflict between Sanders and fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren bubbled into a fever pitch in the days leading up to the debate on Tuesday night here.

The very public rift marks a sea change in a winnowing Democratic field, less than three weeks before Iowans are set to caucus on Feb. 3.

And the crux of the Sanders-Warren conversation — about whether a woman can beat Trump — also highlights uncomfortable questions about perceived “electability” and brings about the specter of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss. In conversations with a dozen Democratic operatives and aides, there appears to be little appetite for, and much hand-wringing over, these topics of conversation — on Clinton, on 2016 or on electability and gender.

Read more here.