Looking to unload after a resounding electoral rejection, former campaign staffers for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have been publicly blasting Alex Thompson, the Politico correspondent tasked with covering Warren’s presidential campaign, for not adequately cheerleading the senator’s presidential run.
“Some Warren campaign staffers don’t have a good understanding of campaign journalism,” said Thompson in a tweet thread Saturday morning. “Not my job to ‘actively support the candidate that you were assigned.’ It is my job to contact as many [people] as possible rather than just rely on what the campaign wants to give me.”
Thompson then provided screenshots of public tweets he’s received from several former Team Warren staffers, including two ex-staffers telling him to “eat sh*t” — albeit one of them used the poop emoji instead of spelling it out.
Some Warren campaign staffers don’t have a good understanding of campaign journalism.
Not my job to “actively support the candidate that you were assigned”
It is my job to contact as many ppl as possible rather than just rely on what the campaign wants to give me. pic.twitter.com/GjSDQ4i5ii
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) March 7, 2020
“Throw the whole man away,” said one ex-staffer, attaching a Gif of a person being tossed into a dumpster.
After Thompson sent an open tweet Friday asking for stories from the campaign, another ex-staffer replied with “somebody come get this man,” an online reference that means somebody is out of line.
Another staffer proceeded to inform Thompson about exactly what she thought went wrong with the campaign.
“[H]ere’s what went wrong, Alex, and I’ll tell you because I have nothing left to lose: media outlets/reps LIKE YOU chose to drive the narrative by reporting only on the struggles, rather than successes,” said another ex-staffer. “You never had any intention of actively supporting the candidate.”
“F***ING ELEVATE HER GODDAMN THOROUGHLY-RESEARCHED AND EXPERT-BACKED POLICY PROPOSALS U F***ING TROLL,” exclaimed the staffer in a separate tweet.
Kristen Orthman, Warren’s communication director, was forced to issue a public ‘reminder’ tweet about what doesn’t constitute appropriate behavior.
“I understand being upset. I am too. But inappropriate language toward other campaigns or the press is never what our campaign or [Elizabeth Warren] is about. Let’s keep the fight focused on the issues,” said Orthman.
Reminder to @TeamWarren – I understand being upset. I am too. But inappropriate language toward other campaigns or the press is never what our campaign or @ewarren is about. Let’s keep the fight focused on the issues.
— Kristen Orthman (@KristenOrthman) March 7, 2020
Amidst the controversy, Daily Beast editor Sam Stein weighed in on the sudden behavior from former Warren staffers: “I really can’t recall campaign aides deciding collectively to unload so quickly on the press and their primary opponent like Warren aides have today.”
I really can’t recall campaign aides deciding collectively to unload so quickly on the press and their primary opponents like Warren aides have today.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) March 7, 2020
New York Magazine journalist Yashar Ali, who previously worked for Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) when he was mayor of San Francisco, noted an interesting fact about former Warren staffers going off on a reporter.
“I’ve lost campaigns and been angry but find it interesting that *some* Warren staffers who complain about abusive tweets from Bernie supporters are now tweeting in a similar fashion,” remarked Ali.
I’ve lost campaigns and been angry but find it interesting that *some* Warren staffers who complained about abusive tweets from Bernie supporters are now tweeting in a similar fashion.
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) March 7, 2020
According to Politico, former Vice President Joe Biden told donors on Friday that he was anticipating that some Bernie supporters would run a negative campaign against him, except he referred to them as “Bernie Brothers” instead of the colloquial “Bernie Bros.”
“What we can’t let happen is let this primary become a negative bloodbath,” said Biden, reports the news agency. “I know I’m going to get a lot of suggestions on how to respond to what I suspect will be an increasingly negative campaign that the Bernie brothers will run. But we can’t tear this party apart and re-elect Trump. We have to keep our eyes on the ball, in my view.”