Sanders campaign co-chair calls for progressive unity amid senators’ fallout

A co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2020 presidential campaign came to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) defense amid a public fallout between the two progressive firebrands and joined calls for unity.

“There are ups and downs in campaigns, but I have tremendous admiration and respect for Senator Warren,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told Hill.TV, noting Warren’s record on anti-corruption and founding of the Consumer Protection Bureau.

“You have to look at campaigns for what they are, and I have no doubt that the progressive movement needs her leadership as well,” he added.

Khanna went on to join progressive calls for the party to remain unified.

“I agree with a lot of the groups who have been saying let’s get the progressives all marching in the same direction.

Eighteen leading progressive groups with ties to both candidates have signed a unity pledge calling for solidarity.

The three-part pledge says the groups will focus their fight for the nomination against candidates on the “corporate wing” of the Democratic Party and ensure that a progressive candidate wins the party’s presidential nomination.

“When progressives fight each other, the establishment wins,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chairman for Democracy for America.

Sanders and Warren have not spoken since their contentious exchange following Tuesday’s Democratic debate.

Warren approached Sanders after the debate in Iowa and accused him of calling her a liar on national television.

Sanders appeared to try to defuse the situation by offering to talk about it later.

“You know, let’s not do it right now. If you want to have that discussion, we’ll have that discussion,” he said, before telling Warren she had also called him a liar.

Their feud is centered on a CNN report claiming that Sanders had told Warren that he didn’t believe a woman could win the White House. While Warren confirmed the report, Sanders has denied making such a statement and both dug into their positions during the debate.

The pair also clashed earlier this week after reports surfaced on Sunday that the Sanders campaign was urging volunteers to tell voters that Warren only appealed to the wealthy elite. 

—Tess Bonn

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