Center for American Progress CEO Throws ThinkProgress Under Bus After Sanders Criticism

Neera Tanden/ Youtube Screenshot
• April 15, 2019 4:25 pm


Liberal think tank Center for American Progress (CAP) publicly distanced itself from a video produced by ThinkProgress, an outlet owned and funded by CAP.

In a Saturday letter addressed to the CAP board of directors, 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders complained about ThinkProgress's coverage of his campaign, charging that he had been subjected to unfair "personal attacks."

Sanders cited in particular an article highlighting the fact that the socialist Vermont senator is now a millionaire, which the ThinkProgress writer wrote was "very off-brand and embarrassing." He also complained about a video which noted that Sanders had dropped his trademark denunciation of "millionaires and billionaires" after making his first million, switching instead to "billionaires."

"Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden repeatedly calls for unity while simultaneously maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas," Sanders wrote. "I worry that the corporate money CAP is receiving is inordinately and inappropriately influencing the role it is playing in the progressive movement."

The Sanders campaign found an ally in its crusade when billionaire liberal megadonor Tom Steyer tweeted Monday that he would use his "voice on the Center for American Progress' Board of Directors to discourage any such attacks on any candidate seeking the Democratic nomination in the future."

Less than half an hour after Steyer's tweet, Tanden responded in a Monday press release distancing both CAP and herself from ThinkProgress's anti-Sanders content.

"The orientation of CAP is to positively engage with all political leaders about the country's future," the press release said. "ThinkProgress is editorially independent of CAP and CAP Action, which is what has made it valuable as a news outlet. Similarly, we at CAP can form our own opinions of their work."

"We believe the content of the ThinkProgress video critiquing Sen. Sanders is overly harsh and does not reflect our approach to a constructive debate of the issues," it concluded.