Former Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty'

Vermont’s former governor went after Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness 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 WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names 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 BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, also said that Sanders was trying to “Hillarize,” Warren, referring to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE.

“We should be weakening Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests 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.

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