“I think she feels she’s slipping and losing a little momentum and she’s a little bit frightened by that,” Sanders backer Dale Howard of Nashua, N.H. said after a town hall the candidate held on Saturday. “I can’t imagine him saying it.”
Or as Kristine Acevedo, a 48-year-old Boston activist who traveled to Exeter to see Sanders at a town hall, put it, “We obviously know that it was complete BS.”
Several people supporting or strongly considering Warren, however, see a stubborn man defensively insisting he said nothing wrong and trying to paint Warren as either oversensitive or a liar.
“I would have rather him said: it was wrong of me to ever give you that impression. Boom. Done,” said Tanya Keith, 48, who works in historic preservation in Des Moines and attended a Planned Parenthood event with Warren on Saturday. Her reaction to the back-and-forth: “He totally said it! Women are watching, Bernie.”
“I know what men say to us in rooms and then what they say to us in person to gaslight us, and I just want you to know that I believe you 100 percent,” Keith told Warren during the event, prefacing her question about uniting the party for the general election. She hasn’t decided whom to support but is seriously considering Warren.
“I believe her, just put it that way,” said Brian Guillaume, 32, who works for Iowa House Democrats and is leaning toward supporting Warren. “As the father of two daughers with a wife who sees how misogyny works, the way she looked at the debate, you could tell she seemed shocked when he denied it.”
For Alison Ver Schuer, a staffer for Democrats in the Iowa statehouse, it boils down to this: “Believe women. Just believe women.”