Neither Sanders nor O’Rourke has officially declared presidential candidacy, but the games are already afoot.

According to a report by NBC, Sanders supporters are already putting the heat O’Rourke, attempting to paint him as a less than committed ideologue.

Sanders, a self-described socialist, was the clear left-winger in the 2016 election, but in the two years since Trump was elected, Democrats have wholly abandoned any guise of centrism in a race to prove who is the truest, most leftist progressive.

From NBC:

The main line of attack against O’Rourke is that he isn’t progressive enough — that he’s been too close to Republicans in Congress, too close to corporate donors and not willing enough to use his star power to help fellow Democrats — and it is being pushed almost exclusively by Sanders supporters online and in print.

It’s been the first flashpoint in what promises to be a politically bloody primary — one that has drawn responses from foot soldiers in the Obama and Clinton wings of the party — as Democrats begin to focus on who has the best chance to deny President Donald Trump a second term in the Oval Office.

Apparently, it’s an open secret in Democrat camps that O’Rourke’s prog street cred is lacking, seeing as he gained support from so-called Blue Dog Democrats (the few that remain). NBC ctd:

Nomiki Konst, a progressive activist and 2016 Sanders supporter who is now running for public advocate in New York City, said liberal activists mostly kept quiet about their concerns over O’Rourke’s record, including the backing he got from the centrist Blue Dog Democrats, before he lost a Texas Senate race to Republican Ted Cruz in November.

“They sucked it up while he was running” because they wanted him to win, Konst said. “But now it’s a different story.”

The biggest difference may be that O’Rourke is now a threat to Sanders in the 2020 primary. Though neither man has announced whether he will run, O’Rourke captured the hearts and dollars of veteran Democratic activists, donors of all ages and millennial political newcomers across Texas and the nation in his Senate run.

“I think this week can be understood as a kind of turning point, where — for the first time really — millions of Americans are seeing pieces that look underneath the superficial gloss of projections onto Beto,” said Norman Solomon, who was a delegate for Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

“What we’re seeing is someone who’s a big step up for red-state Texas statewide and actually a big step down for where the majority of Democrats are nationwide. … If we buy the Beto package, we’re gonna have buyer’s remorse later on.”

Politics is a blood sport, and the 2020 Democrat primary is shaping up to be a blood bath.

 
 
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