Left-wing activists hit Rep. Adam B. Schiff as soon as he announced his run for a Senate seat in California, arguing that he was too weak against former President Donald Trump and challenging the status quo of the Democratic Party.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which endorsed Rep. Katie Porter when she announced her bid, said Mr. Schiff slow-walked tackling the Trump administration and has not sought to fight corporations and the Democratic establishment.
“Adam Schiff plays the role of Trump antagonist on TV, but a recent book details how he stalled and undermined leaders trying to hold Trump accountable in Congress — and he never challenges corporations or the Democratic establishment,” said Adam Green, co-founder of PCCC.
In contrast, Mr. Green said Ms. Porter won a red Orange County district by directly challenging Trumpism and attacking corporations.
Ms. Porter and Mr. Schiff are both California Democrats.
Mr. Schiff championed the now-debunked anti-Trump Steele dossier and now-debunked allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. He also played a leading role in both impeachment efforts against Mr. Trump.
Ms. Porter is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and served as its vice-chair last Congress.
“When we should have gone big against Trump, Schiff said go small. When we should have gone fast, Schiff said go slow. When we should have slowed down to do more accountability, Schiff said get things over with. And when bold leaders finally won consensus to pursue impeachment over Schiff‘s objections, Schiff leapt on stage to take credit,” Mr. Green said.
Mr. Schiff rejected the criticism, describing himself as a key warrior against Mr. Trump.
“I’ve been too lax on President Trump? I’ve never heard that from anybody. I’ve led the first impeachment trial against former President Trump and his misconduct with regards to Russia, and I participated in the Jan. 6 committee. You can accuse me of a lot of things but not being soft on Donald Trump,” Mr. Schiff told The Washington Times.
The 2024 California Senate race is shaping up to be a competitive primary, with already Mr. Schiff and Ms. Porter making early announcements in the race to succeed Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Ms. Feinstein, 89, has not announced whether she will run for reelection. She has faced questions about her mental fitness and whether she has the capacity for another six-year term in the upper chamber.
Interest remains high in the Senate race. Other potential candidates include California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, state Attorney General Rob Bonta, and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
• Mica Soellner can be reached at email@example.com.
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