As some online supporters of Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders appeared intent on escalating a disagreement between the two 2020 Democratic presidential candidates over a private conversation they had in 2018 into a full blown internecine war, Rep. Ilhan Omar urged progressives to resist squabbling as the first primary votes draw near.
Fighting between progressive supporters of Warren and Sanders benefits neither candidate, the first-term Minnesota Democrat and Sanders surrogate suggested on Twitter—and only strengthens the corporate structures which hope to defeat both of them.
“Pitting progressives against each other weeks before the Iowa caucus hurts ALL of us,” tweeted Omar.
Omar’s comments came less than 24 hours after Tuesday’s Democratic debate, where the two senators were asked about Warren’s claim that Sanders told her before either of their campaigns began that he did not believe a woman could win the presidency in 2020.
Sanders has denied he made the statement, accusing Warren’s staff of “lying” and saying on Tuesday that he only told his colleague “that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist, and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could.”
Warren said ahead of the debate that she wanted to focus on the two senators’ “past work together” and “shared goals.”
On Wednesday, however, the hashtags #WarrenIsASnake and #NeverWarren were trending, with some prominent progressives positing that fraudulent “bot” accounts were amplifying the slogans.
“This is horrific. Co-founder of People for Bernie here,” tweeted Charles Lenchner, who is now a digital director for The Real News. “Please do NOT support this.”
The hashtags would only give President Donald Trump “an arsenal of attacks to use against us,” Omar tweeted, calling on progressives to “stay focused on the task ahead: defeating Donald Trump in November and fighting for the America we deserve.”
Omar’s call was echoed by Dr. Jane Sanders, the senator’s wife, and Justice Democrats spokesman Waleed Shahid.
“Both a Sanders or Warren presidency would be historic,” Shahid tweeted. “Progressives should focus on making a case against [Joe] Biden and [Pete] Buttigieg in the coming weeks. Both candidates missed a few shots last night.”