Senator Bernie Sanders is upset with the liberal think tank Center for American Progress for what he called “bad faith smears” against him and other Democratic candidates for president.
In a letter obtained by the New York Times, Sanders blasted CAP for playing a “destructive role” in the 2020 presidential campaign.
Sanders appears miffed that ThinkProgress, the blog sponsored by the CAP Action Fund, pointed out that he can hardly speak authoritatively about “income inequality” when he admitted he’s a millionaire.
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.”
Is it really a “smear” to point out that millionaires should be the last people on earth railing against “income inequality”? It is if Bernie Sanders wants to distract people from his towering hypocrisy.
CAP was founded by Clinton crony John Podesta, specifically to promote a kinder, gentler brand of liberalism. The angry, radical candidates running for president on the Democratic side don’t necessarily fit the mold of an ideal candidate for CAP.
Sanders went even further, smearing the think tank for being corporate stooges:
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.
That’s a pretty low blow, even for Sanders. There are plenty of “progressive ideas” flowing from scholars who call the Center for American Progress home. That Sanders feels compelled to try and tarnish CAP’s scholarly reputation by alleging corporate influence shows just how close the charges of hypocrisy hit home.