Bernie Sanders slams Clinton-linked think tank for ‘bad faith smears’ of 2020 Democrats – Washington Examiner

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is blaming a leading liberal think tank for stymieing Democrats’ efforts to unseat President Trump in 2020 and spreading “bad faith smears” about him and other Democratic presidential hopefuls who have moved the party further to the Left.

Sanders sent a letter Saturday to the Center for American Progress and CAP Action Fund, which was obtained by the New York Times, that accused the organization of playing a “destructive role” in the 2020 presidential campaign.

“I and other Democratic candidates are running campaigns based on principles and ideas and not engaged in mudslinging or personal attacks on each other,” Sanders wrote in his letter. “Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress is using its resources to smear Senator [Cory] Booker, Senator [Elizabeth] Warren, and myself, among others. This is hardly the way to build unity, or to win the general election.”

The Center for American Progress was founded in 2003 by John Podesta, who served as White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders and Hillary Clinton engaged in a bitter primary during the 2016 presidential election, which exposed rifts in the Democratic Party.

Sanders, an early frontrunner among 2020 Democrats, specifically noted an article published in ThinkProgress, run by CAP Action Fund, that knocked his appearance and income he earned from his book. The website also published a video that Sanders said “dishonestly attacked me for hypocrisy in my effort to address income inequality in America.”

Sanders acknowledged last week he is now a millionaire, which is attributed to having written a best-selling book, and is expected to release a decade of tax returns Monday.

But Sanders said he is not the only Democrat in the 2020 field who has “experienced personal attacks” from the Center for American Progress. He went on to highlight criticisms of Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., who have both advocated progressive policies, from ThinkProgress.

“This counterproductive negative campaigning needs to stop,” Sanders wrote. “The Democratic primary must be a campaign of ideas, not of bad faith smears. Please help play a constructive role in the effort to defeat Donald Trump.”

Sanders accused Center for American Progress chief Neera Tanden, a longtime Clinton confidante, of “maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas.”

“I worry that the corporate money CAP is receiving is inordinately and inappropriately influencing the role it is playing in the progressive movement,” he wrote.

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