Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said Wednesday the rise of 2020 rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) was due in part to some primary voters wanting to see a woman elected president.
CNN host Chris Cuomo noted Warren's recent surge, where she has caught up or even passed Sanders in some primary state polls and established herself in the top tier of the crowded 2020 field.
"Do you believe that people see her as the more electable version of Bernie Sanders?" Cuomo asked.
"I think we are running against a lot of problems," Sanders said. "I think that there are a certain number of people who would like to see a woman elected. I understand that. There are people who would like to see somebody who is younger and I understand that also. There are a lot of factors out there."
Sanders called Warren a friend and praised her campaign, but he maintained he was the strongest candidate to defeat President Donald Trump.
Sanders also said a tweet he sent earlier Wednesday attacking the Third Way think tank was not directed at Warren. In the tweet, Sanders linked to a Politico article about centrist Democrats beginning to rally around the notion of a Warren nomination at Sanders's expense.
"The cat is out of the bag," he tweeted. "The corporate wing of the Democratic Party is publicly ‘anybody but Bernie.' They know our progressive agenda of Medicare for All, breaking up big banks, taking on drug companies and raising wages is the real threat to the billionaire class."
The cat is out of the bag. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party is publicly "anybody but Bernie." They know our progressive agenda of Medicare for All, breaking up big banks, taking on drug companies and raising wages is the real threat to the billionaire class. https://t.co/zimci7JRO6
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 19, 2019
Sanders told Cuomo he was tired of hearing criticism from the "corporatist wing" of the Democratic Party. If he won the nomination, he said he expected to get support from the whole party. He said if someone "a lot more conservative" like Joe Biden won the nomination, he would still work tirelessly to ensure that candidate defeated Trump.