Former Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty'

Vermont's former governor went after Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Bernie Sanders' ex-spokesperson apprehensive over effectiveness of SALT deductions BBB threatens the role of parents in raising — and educating — children MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday, saying that the longtime senator was willing to "play dirty" during campaigns.

Former Gov. Peter Shumlin (D), who was Vermont's governor from 2011 to 2017, told Politico that Sanders, an independent and a self-described Democratic socialist, lacks loyalty to the Democratic party.

“What I’ve seen in Bernie’s politics is he and his team feel they’re holier than the rest. In the end, they will play dirty because they think that they pass a purity test that Republicans and most Democrats don’t pass,” Shumlin told the publication.

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“What you’re seeing now is, in the end, even if he considers you a friend, like [Sen.] Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPoll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Biden eyes new path for Fed despite Powell pick Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Storms a growing danger for East Coast MORE (D-Mass.), Bernie will come first. That’s the pattern we’ve seen over the years in Vermont, and that’s what we are seeing now nationally," he added.

Shumlin is referring to the weeklong spat between the two progressive candidates. Early in the week, multiple sources reported that in 2018 Sanders had told Warren in a private meeting that he didn't believe that a woman could win the White House in 2020.

Sanders categorically denied the reports, and in response Warren released an official statement standing by her claim. 

The tension was obvious during Tuesday's Democratic primary debate in Iowa. After the conclusion of the debate, a hot mic picked up the two in a short scrape that ended with both senators parting ways angrily. 

Shumlin, who has endorsed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE, also said that Sanders was trying to "Hillarize," Warren, referring to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future Popping the progressive bubble MORE.

“We should be weakening Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE, not each other,” Shumlin said. “I’m concerned that we’re seeing a replay of the kind of dynamics that didn’t allow Hillary to win.”

In 2016, Clinton beat Sanders out for the Democratic presidential nomination.