Sanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids

Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to call on 2020 Democrats to reject money from drug, health insurance industries The hidden connection between immigration and health care: Our long-term care crisis Harris tops Biden in California 2020 poll MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarris tops Biden in California 2020 poll The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE (D-Mass.) met Wednesday night amid speculation that each will run for president, but reportedly did not seek to coordinate their ambitions. 

While both senators are anticipated to throw their hat into a crowded ring of Democrats seeking the party’s presidential nomination in 2020, neither sought the support of the other or tried to dissuade the other from running, two Democrats briefed on the discussion told The New York Times.

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Sanders and Warren are known to be close and speak frequently.

“I talk to Elizabeth Warren every single day,” Sanders said Thursday on MSNBC. “The fact that two senators get together to chat becomes a big deal, that’s a real problem for the media.” 

The similarities between the two progressive candidates have raised concerns among the progressive base that competing candidates fighting over the same issues could divide key constituencies needed to ultimately take back the White House. 

“They both deserve to make up their own mind,” Rep. James McGovernJames (Jim) Patrick McGovernHouse Democrats officially introduce contempt resolution for Barr, McGahn After setbacks, some House Democrats want to repeal a longstanding minority party right Sanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids MORE (D-Mass.) told The Times. “It would be wrong for any of us to say, ‘well you’re the better progressive.’ We can all make up our minds, that’s what primaries are for.”

However, the two would likely be entering a jam-packed field of Democratic primary candidates, several of whom have already positioned themselves to appeal to the grassroots progressives. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who burst onto the national stage after a competitive Senate race in Texas and has not ruled out a presidential bid of his own, beat out both Sanders and Warren in a straw poll of members of the progressive group MoveOn.org.

Sanders ran a competitive primary campaign against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers Will Trump's racist tweets backfire? Democrats fret over Trump cash machine MORE in 2016 and largely maintains strong support among activists, but has struggled with support among the Democratic establishment.

Warren is known for her economic policies and criticism of Wall Street. The Times noted she has separated herself from Sanders in part by labeling herself a capitalist. But she has also faced some opposition within her home state, where The Boston Globe published a searing editorial urging her to stay out of the presidential race.