Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Wednesday aimed a veiled swipe at his 2020 presidential opponent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) by saying he believes the Democratic Party’s “corporate wing” is determined to elect “anybody but” him.

Sanders, 77, and Warren — who turned 70 on Saturday — are known for being among the most progressive or “far-left” 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. Democratic socialist Sanders commented on Twitter about a Politico article that described how Warren is steadily gaining greater support from centrist Democratic voters.

“The cat is out of the bag,” the Vermont Senator tweeted. “The corporate wing of the Democratic Party is publicly ‘anybody but Bernie.’ They know our progressive agenda of Medicare for All, breaking up big banks, taking on drug companies and raising wages is the real threat to the billionaire class.”


Multiple national polls of early-voting states like South Carolina and Nevada show Warren tied or ahead of Sanders for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, for which 24 candidates are competing.

SLIDESHOW: TOP DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020

In an interview on CNN Wednesday evening, Sanders denied his post was meant as a criticism of Warren.

“That tweet was not about Elizabeth Warren at all. Not at all. Elizabeth is a friend of mine, and we’re going to run what I hope are issue-oriented campaigns,” Sanders told Chris Cuomo. 

Sanders — who unsuccessfully ran for president as a Democrat in 2016 — led all 2020 Democratic candidates in campaign fundraising for the first quarter of 2019 earlier this year with $18.2 million donations, nearly all from small donors rather than large corporations or political action committees.

Among the issues both Warren and Sanders have championed are holding major financial institutions and other large corporations accountable for their practices, reducing income inequality and increasing the minimum wage, making college free or more affordable and ensuring equal rights and treatment for all Americans regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or income. Both have also pledged stronger support for working families and child-care. Sanders has even strived to diversify his 2020 campaign staff relative to his previous presidential bid.

Warren and Sanders both qualified for next week’s first round of Democratic debates for 2020, although they will appear on the stage on different nights.