18 progressive groups sign unity pledge amid Sanders-Warren feud

18 progressive groups sign unity pledge amid Sanders-Warren feud
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Eighteen progressive groups have signed a unity pledge vowing to keep their fire trained on the “corporate wing” of the Democratic Party amid a burgeoning feud between Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Overnight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders pushes on in 2020 race MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) that has split the left.

The signers include seven groups who back Sanders's 2020 presidential bid and two that back Warren's. The remaining nine groups are either supportive of both candidates, such as Democracy for America, or have not endorsed anyone yet.

The three-part pledge says the groups will “focus our fight for the nomination against candidates supported by the corporate wing, instead of fighting each other.” The groups say they’re committed to ensuring a progressive candidate wins the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and that they’ll join forces to ensure that candidate ultimately defeats President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE.

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“When progressives fight each other, the establishment wins,” said Charles Chamberlain, the chairman for Democracy for America. “We saw it in 2004 when progressives took each other out and John KerryJohn Forbes KerryLongtime Biden adviser posthumously tests positive for coronavirus The Hill's 12:30 Report: House to vote on .2T stimulus after mad dash to Washington Conservative lawmakers tell Trump to 'back off' attacks on GOP colleague MORE slipped through to win Iowa and then went on to lose in November to a very unpopular Republican incumbent. We’re determined to not let that happen again.”

Sanders and Warren had agreed to not attack one another and stuck to that pledge for all of 2019.

But the detente exploded in spectacular fashion earlier this week after reports that the Sanders campaign was instructing volunteers to question whether Warren is electable.

Warren later alleged that Sanders told her in a private meeting in 2018 that a woman could not win the White House. Sanders, however, denies ever saying that.

The allegations and denials escalated between the two at Tuesday night’s debate in Des Moines, culminating in a post-debate exchange in which Warren confronted Sanders and accused him of calling her a “liar on national TV.”

Sanders and Warren are at the top of many polls of Iowa with the caucuses only weeks away, and liberals are fearful that the bitter dispute will hurt both candidates and potentially pave the way for a centrist contender, such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE or former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE, to emerge victorious.

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“We need a bold progressive president. In our opinion, the most inspirational and electable Democrat we could nominate is Elizabeth Warren,” the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said in a statement. “We are joining this effort out of a belief that it represents leaders in the progressive movement urging everyone from campaign staff to Twitter commenters to focus on defeating a corporate, establishment Democrat like Joe Biden. This effort inherently includes standing opposed to sexism and bad-faith arguments in the primary process. We look forward to working with our friends to enforce these principles."

The unity effort, called “Progressives Unite 2020,” features a website where members can sign the pledge and commit to voting for either Sanders or Warren at their caucus or primary.

That’s particularly important in Iowa, where candidates must reach a 15-percent threshold at a caucus site to win delegates. Organizers will be seeking to ensure that if one of the progressive candidates does not hit that threshold, those voters move to back the progressive candidate that does.

“We need a President who will put the interests of everyday people ahead of those of the wealthy elite and big corporations,” said Bree Carlson, the deputy director of People’s Action, which backs Sanders. “Our members voted to endorse Senator Sanders as the best choice for President because he is ready to work side by side with us to do just that. Senator Warren is our clear second choice, both Senator Sanders and Senator Warren stand heads and shoulders above the candidates seeking only to prop up the status quo of corporate interests."

A full list of the groups that signed on to the effort and the candidates they support is below:

1. Be A Hero Action Fund

2. Black Male Voter Project

3. Black Voters Matter Fund

4. Center for Popular Democracy Action (Sanders)

5. Democracy for America

6. Dream Defenders (Sanders)

7. Inequality Media Civic Action

8. Justice Democrats

9. Our Revolution (Sanders)

10. People’s Action (Sanders)

11. Presente Action

12. Progress America

13. Progressive Change Campaign Committee (Warren)

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14. Progressive Democrats of America (Sanders)

15. Roots Action (Sanders)

16. Social Security Works

17. Sunrise Movement (Sanders)

18. Working Families Party (Warren)