Democratic strategist: Sanders seeking distance from Warren could 'backfire'

Democratic strategist Daria Dawson on Monday cautioned Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters Republicans not immune to the malady that hobbled Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election MORE (I-Vt.) to be careful about how he goes about differentiating himself from progressive 2020 rival Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass.).

Dawson said that while the Sanders’s campaign has no choice but to start seeking distance from Warren given her recent rise in the polls, she warned that such a move “may also backfire.”

"The stakes are higher for them, his health is [in question]," Dawson told Hill.TV, referring to Sanders's heart attack earlier this month. 

"It may be smart, but it may also backfire," she added. 

Dawson’s comments come after Sanders held a massive rally in Queens, New York, over the weekend that marked his official return to the campaign trail following his health scare.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline McCarthy says there will be a peaceful transition if Biden wins Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid MORE (D-N.Y.), a progressive star on the left, officially threw her support behind Sanders at the rally, while also crediting him for inspiring her own run for office in 2018.

Several top campaign officials spoke at the rally, including co-chairwoman Nina Turner, who sought to highlight key differences between Sanders and Warren, though she didn’t mention the Massachusetts senator by name.

“There was only one person who stood up to the establishment and his name is Bernie Sanders,” Turner said to cheers from the crowd. “There are many copies but there is only one original.”

Republican strategist Holly Turner praised Turner’s comments, calling the strategy “smart.”

“It wasn’t him saying all of those things,” Turner said. “He’s got a surrogate out there saying it and it makes a big difference in voters' minds.”

Sanders has increasingly sought distance between himself from Warren. Leading up to last week's primary debate in Ohio, Sanders told ABC’s Jon Karl that the main difference between him and Warren is her support of capitalism.

"There are differences between Elizabeth and myself," Sanders said. "Elizabeth, I think, as you know, has said that she is a capitalist through her bones. I’m not.”

⁠—Tess Bonn