After Sen. Elizabeth Warren formally ended her presidential campaign Thursday, progressives nationwide highlighted the Massachusetts Democrat's contributions to the 2020 primary race and elevated the call for her to join with Sen. Bernie Sanders to defeat the corporate establishment that has now coalesced around former Vice President Joe Biden.
"There is no sense pretending that for Warren... to simply withdraw from the race without endorsing anyone would amount to anything more than a boost for Joe Biden."
Although Warren declined to endorse either Sanders or Biden Thursday—telling reporters, "let's take a deep breath and spend a little time on that"—Sanders supporters and surrogates wasted no time applauding her abundance of detailed plans for the country and regarding her as a crucial champion in the national progressive movement.
The youth-led Sunrise Movement, which threw its support behind Sanders in January, said the United States "is a better place" because of Warren's candidacy. The climate action group added, "We know she'll continue the fight alongside us, until we win."
Our country is a better place because of @ewarren's candidacy.
She took on the fossil fuel executives corrupting our democracy & worked alongside us to put the #GreenNewDeal at the center of our political debate.
We know she'll continue the fight alongside us, until we win. https://t.co/kYM7oDrlqg
— Sunrise Movement (@sunrisemvmt) March 5, 2020
Even before Warren exited the race, she faced pressure to bow out and partner with Sanders to "help build a progressive front against a moneyed and well-organized moderate force." After Warren struggled to win delegates in the Super Tuesday primaries earlier this week, supporters of both senators issued such calls on social media with the hashtag #BuildTogether.
Warren told her staffers Thursday that "our work continues, the fight goes on, and big dreams never die." Sanders, for his part, commended Warren for running "an extraordinary campaign of ideas" and said that "I know that she'll stay in this fight and we are grateful that she will."
Progressives expressed hope that Warren would indeed fight to help advance a progressive agenda—specifically by endorsing Sanders and helping him get to the White House by urging her supporters to rally behind him and provide the votes he needs to win the nomination over Biden and defeat Trump in November.
"While I write very much as an admirer, there is no point papering over the choice Warren and her supporters now face," D.D. Guttenplan, editor of The Nation, wrote Thursday. "I'm hoping that Elizabeth Warren does the right thing, and remains in the fight, on our side, rather than on the sidelines."
The Nation endorsed "Sanders and his movement" Monday. Guttenplan, who published his piece amid reports of Warren ending her campaign Thursday, added that "there is no sense pretending that for Warren... to simply withdraw from the race without endorsing anyone would amount to anything more than a boost for Joe Biden."
"We all remember that it was bankruptcy that got Warren into this fight in the first place. And she doubtless remembers which senator, in particular, was on the other side of that fight... Joe Biden. " https://t.co/W3qFmhi77b
— The Nation (@thenation) March 5, 2020
Nathan Robinson argued for Current Affairs: "We need Warren urgently to endorse and campaign for Sanders (and should welcome her supporters with open arms). But Elizabeth Warren's endorsement alone won't change things enough. We also need to take the gloves off when it comes to Joe Biden."
In op-ed for Common Dreams, Norman Solomon wrote that "Warren basically has two choices: While Bernie Sanders and Biden go toe to toe, she can maintain neutrality and avoid the ire of the Democratic Party's corporate establishment. Or she can form a united front with Sanders, taking a principled stand on behalf of progressive ideals."
Meagan Day, a staff writer at the socialist magazine Jacobin, pointed out on Twitter Thursday that many of Warren's plans remain popular among progressives and there's a lot of common ground between the Warren and Sanders bases.
"All Warren's greatest hits—a wealth tax, breaking up the banks, getting big money out of politics, guaranteeing universal healthcare/college/childcare, tackling the climate crisis—are still playing in the Bernie campaign," Day wrote. "Warren supporters, let's make the world good together."
Rep. Pramila Japayal (D-Wash.), Sanders' national health policy chair, thanked Warren for fighting for "racial justice, disability rights, LGBTQ equality, and so much more" in response to a tweet from Warren sharing the transcript of the former candidate's official announcement to campaign staffers.
Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, also told Warren: "I'm proud to be in this movement with you."
For dreaming big & fighting hard.
For inspiring millions of women & girls with pinkie swears.
For fearlessly speaking truth to power.
For fighting for racial justice, disability rights, LGBTQ equality & so much more.
Thank you, @ewarren. I’m proud to be in this movement with you. https://t.co/GqwtARjNEq
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— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) March 5, 2020
The three members of "the Squad" who have endorsed Sanders—Democratics Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.)—tweeted kind words for Warren and her supporters:
Today is a hard day for so many people who love and respect @ewarren and admire her campaign - and I include myself in that.
Elizabeth Warren is a progressive lion, a champion for working families, and her commitment to inclusivity is exemplary. Thank you for being a role model. https://t.co/E9iZzo4Dwt
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 5, 2020
Let’s not undersell the power of Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy.
She set the pace for policy on everything from disability justice to racial justice to a wealth tax.
She is a giant of our movement. I can't wait for our progressive movement to build together. #ThankYouElizabeth
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 5, 2020
.@ewarren you inspired so many people across the country, especially little girls. Thank you for running and doing it unapologetically.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 5, 2020
"So many of my friends are devastated and I know this hits hard," tweeted Tlaib. "It is very personal for so many of Warren's supporters. I hope we are graceful and loving as they decide what is needed next."
Their comments came as part of a broader wave of gratitude for the issues that Warren addressed with her campaign, from the existential threat of the climate crisis to the importance of safeguarding reproductive freedom from an onslaught of anti-choice Republican attacks:
.@ewarren fought tirelessly for reproductive freedom, and her exit is a loss to this historically diverse field. The remaining candidates need to follow her lead and fight harder than ever for our fundamental rights.
— NARAL (@NARAL) March 5, 2020
.@ewarren ran on a #GreenNewDeal and released some of the most detailed, visionary proposals to tackle the climate crisis of any candidate. It's why she has an "A" grade at 93/100 points on our #Climate2020 Scorecard. (1/3) https://t.co/lDZyZN3vPa
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) March 5, 2020
As Justice Democrats executive director Alexandra Rojas said in a statement Thursday:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has always been a powerful progressive voice, and her candidacy made this primary stronger. We are grateful for Sen. Warren for bringing in new people into the progressive movement and advancing major causes like a wealth tax, universal child care, and holding Wall Street accountable. Her work at the CFPB, her laser sharp debate skills, and tireless advocacy for big structural change has made our movement and our party better.
Rojas—whose group hadn't endorsed in the race but was part of a coalition that called for unity among the two candidates and their supporters in January—added that "Warren is one of the fiercest fighters for working families our movement has ever seen and we look forward to continuing the fight alongside her."
As for Biden, he also recognized Warren as a fierce fighter in a tweet Thursday. However, as The Intercept's Jeremy Scahill noted, the former vice president's full statement sounded to some like: "Thanks for participating. Now go back to the Senate."