Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.) complained about the "out-of-state socialists" working to unseat him as he rode the Amtrak train back to Delaware on the day of its primary elections, according to a phone conversation overheard by a Free Beacon source on Thursday afternoon.
Carper is facing a primary challenge from the left in the form of Kerri Harris, who has received help on the campaign trail down the stretch from the likes of New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the far-left candidate who earlier this year unseated longtime New York congressman Joe Crowley (D.). The interest in Delaware's race from figures such as Ocasio-Cortez appears to be getting under Carper's skin, according to the conversation.
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"There are a lot of people coming from out of state, socialists coming in, trying to defeat me," Carper was heard saying just before 4:00 p.m. from the Amtrak café car, presumably on his way to vote for himself back in his home state.
Carper was also heard characterizing his opponent Harris as a socialist. He stressed a need for the party to stem the tide of incumbents losing primaries to far-left candidates, saying the socialists were ruining the party, according to the source.
Harris received support from the far left as recently as Wednesday night, when Nina Turner, the head of the Bernie Sanders-aligned Our Revolution group, joined her for an election eve "Rally for Racial and Economic Justice" hosted by the Harris campaign.
Far-left candidates have been on a winning streak since the June victory by Ocasio-Cortez. Just this week, longtime Massachusetts representative Mike Capuano (D.) fell to Ayanna Pressley, a first-time candidate who ran with the same group as both Ocasio-Cortez and Harris.
Harris's effort to unseat Carper was boosted late last year by a Free Beacon report that the longtime Delaware senator had admitted to hitting his wife, an incident he had long denied during his political rise in the state.
The Huffington Post has characterized Carper's effort to hold off Harris as the "political fight of his life."
A spokesman for Carper didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the overheard conversation.