On Sunday, conservative author and radio host Hugh Hewitt appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with host Chuck Todd.
During one of the segments with Hewitt, Todd played the clip from Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate in which Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) approached rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and accused him of calling her “a liar on national TV.”
The feud between Warren and Sanders began in earnest with a report from Politico on January 11 in which it was claimed the Sanders campaign was instructing its personnel to tell voters that Warren was a candidate who couldn’t broaden her appeal beyond the “highly educated” and “more affluent.”
Warren responded to the report, saying that she was “disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me.”
Then, CNN dropped a bombshell story claiming that during a private meeting in 2018, Sanders told Warren that he “did not believe a woman could win.”
In response to CNN’s report, Warren said:
Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate. I thought a woman could win; he disagreed. I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry.
At Tuesday’s debate, CNN’s Abby Phillip asked Sanders about the alleged exchange, and Sanders denied that it ever happened. Phillip then turned right around and asked Warren: “What did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?” Sanders appeared confounded that Phillip would state her question in such a way, and the audience notably laughed.
Warren replied: “I disagreed. Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie. But, look, this question about whether or not a woman can be president has been raised, and it’s time for us to attack it head-on.”
After the debate, while mics were still recording and cameras on, Warren approached Sanders, refused his handshake, and confronted him over the debate exchange. Sanders replied that it was Warren who had called him a “liar,” but that they shouldn’t have such a discussion then and there.
On Sunday, Todd asked Hewitt his opinion on the feud as a conservative, noting that it might end up helping former Vice President Joe Biden, “who might be the tougher foe” in the general election.
Hewitt stated that he believes it is Mayor Pete Buttigieg who would benefit from the internecine fighting:
I thought the winner of the split was Pete Buttigieg because either the Warren voter or the Sanders voter who is turned off, they’re not going to go to Joe Biden. They’ve already committed to a progressive.
Hewitt then added that he will be voting for Sen. Sanders in the Virginia primary:
I can tell you one thing. Because Virginia allows early voting and because I don’t know where NBC or Salem will have me on March 3rd, I’m voting this week. And because it’s Virginia, I get to vote in the Democratic primary. I’m voting for Bernie Sanders. And I think a lot of people will because he’s authentic –
Todd asked if Hewitt’s Sanders vote was “calculated voting.” Hewitt replied that it’s because he believes Sanders to be “authentic,” and that he wants a clear distinction between a real “socialist” and those who are simply imitators.
TODD: Yeah? You’re going to vote for Bernie Sanders against Donald Trump?
HEWITT: No. I’m going to vote for Donald Trump. But I want a clear choice between the authentic, traditional socialist and all the people who just pretend to be.
TODD: Oh wow.
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 19, 2020