ABC News' Matthew Dowd suggests Sanders sexist since he 'keeps trying to defeat women running' for president

ABC News chief political analyst Matthew Dowd suggested Tuesday that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is sexist because he "keeps trying to defeat women running for president."

Sanders has been on the defensive this week after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., affirmed a report that he had told her he didn't think a woman could win the presidency. She said it happened during a December 2018 meeting before they formally launched their presidential bids.

Dowd, who has described himself as "proud independent," weighed in on the political spat by indirectly hitting the Vermont progressive.

"You know one clear way to demonstrate that you believe a woman can and should be president? Don’t try to defeat a woman running for President," Dowd tweeted.

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That sparked lots of reactions on social media, including from one Twitter user who defended Sanders.

"I'm not a Bernie supporter at all. But I think this Sanders & Warren controversy is completely overblown. Bernie is not a sexist," a user named Wendy wrote.

"What I find fascinating is that he keeps trying to defeat women running for president," Dowd responded.

That was a clear reference to Sanders' 2016 presidential run against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Another Twitter user, who also claimed not to be "a Bernie supporter," pushed back against the ABC News analyst, saying that if Sanders "wants to run for president and there are women who oppose him so be it. I don't think we should hold that against him."

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Dowd, however, doubled down.

"Point is if you really believe a woman can be and should be president then why are you trying to defeat women," Dowd tweeted.

Dowd's ABC colleagues on The View also were critical of Sanders amid his dustup with Warren.

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Co-host Sunny Hostin appeared to side with Warren, telling her colleagues that Sanders "may very well believe that" given how every U.S. president has been a man. "They'd rather vote for a 78-year-old socialist who just had a heart attack than a woman," Joy Behar chuckled.

Meghan McCain, however, expressed that Sanders' supporters, specifically the "Bernie Bros," had a "problem" with women."One of the few things that really connects liberal pundits and conservative female pundits together is, there's just a level of misogyny. Look at Twitter," McCain elaborated. "He has a problem with women and he has for a long time. And, I think if Elizabeth Warren has this in her back pocket, all is fair in politics, all is fair in love and war, and look, I don't want another misogynist as president, OK?"