MARSHALLTOWN, Ia. - U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Sunday she hopes fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders "reconsiders" his campaign's talking points that attack her as a candidate.
A POLITICO report released Saturday revealed a script used by Sanders campaign volunteers when engaging with potential supporters. It instructs voters leaning toward Warren to criticize the senator from Massachusetts and say, "she's bringing no new bases into the Democratic Party," according to the report.
"I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me. Bernie knows me and has known me for a long time," she told reporters after a town hall in Marshalltown on Sunday. "He knows who I am, where I come from, what I have worked on and fought for and the coalition and grassroots movement we're trying to build."
Warren has largely shied away from attacking other Democrats running for president, and rarely attacks them by name on the campaign trail. She told reporters Sunday that the Sanders campaign approach is not how Democrats will win in 2020.
"We all saw the impact of the factionalism in 2016 and we can't have a repeat of that," she said, referencing the close race between Sanders, the senator from Vermont, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Democrats need to unite our party and that means pulling in all parts of the Democratic coalition."
According to POLITICO, the campaign script instructs volunteers to say "the people who support (Warren) are highly-educated, more affluent people who are going to show up and vote Democratic no matter what."
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"I like Elizabeth Warren. [optional]" the script begins, according to POLITICO. "In fact, she's my second choice. But here's my concern about her." It then pivots to the criticisms of Warren.
Sanders, who, like Warren, was campaigning in Iowa Sunday, said he has not, and will not trash his fellow senator.
"I gotta tell you, I think this is a little bit of a media blow up, who kind of wants conflict. Elizabeth Warren is a very good friend of mine. We have worked together in the Senate for years. Elizabeth Warren and I will continue to work together, we will debate the issues, no one is going to trash Elizabeth Warren," he said.
"We have hundreds of employees," Sanders said. "Elizabeth Warren has hundreds of employees. People sometimes say things that they shouldn't have. You have heard me give many speeches. Have I ever said one negative word about Elizabeth Warren? No, of course I didn't."
According to a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll, released Friday, Sanders leads among likely Democratic caucusgoers, with Warren in second place. But Warren is also also is the second choice for the plurality of respondents who pick Sanders as their first choice and for those who pick Buttigieg as their first choice.
Warren said Sunday she is working to represent all kinds of Democrats, and it's a mistake to "take big chunks of the Democratic coalition for granted."
"I hope Bernie reconsiders and turns his campaign in a different direction," she said.
Kim Norvell covers growth and development for the Register. Reach her at email@example.com or 515-284-8259.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Election 2020: Elizabeth Warren reacts to Bernie Sanders volunteer script