18 progressive groups sign unity pledge amid Sanders-Warren feud

18 progressive groups sign unity pledge amid Sanders-Warren feud
© Getty Images

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 SandersBiden wins Louisiana primary Oh, Canada: Should the US emulate Canada's National Health Service? Trump glosses over virus surge during Florida trip MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTrump defends Roger Stone move: He was target of 'Witch Hunt' Democrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Pharma pricing is a problem, but antitrust isn't the (only) solution 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 TrumpDeSantis on Florida schools reopening: 'If you can do Walmart,' then 'we absolutely can do schools' NYT editorial board calls for the reopening of schools with help from federal government's 'checkbook' Mueller pens WaPo op-ed: Roger Stone 'remains a convicted felon, and rightly so' MORE.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 KerryOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Sanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035 | Park Police did not record radio transmissions during June 1 sweep of White House protesters | Court upholds protections for Yellowstone grizzly bears Biden-Sanders 'unity task force' rolls out platform recommendations Sanders-Biden climate task force calls for carbon-free power by 2035 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 BidenDonald Trump Jr. to self-publish book 'Liberal Privilege' before GOP convention Tom Price: Here's how we can obtain more affordable care The Memo: Democrats feel rising tide in Florida MORE or former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden campaign hires top cybersecurity officials to defend against threats Biden strikes populist tone in blistering rebuke of Trump, Wall Street Buttigieg's new book, 'Trust,' slated for October release MORE, to emerge victorious.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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)

ADVERTISEMENT

14. Progressive Democrats of America (Sanders)

15. Roots Action (Sanders)

16. Social Security Works

17. Sunrise Movement (Sanders)

18. Working Families Party (Warren)