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Here’s how centrist Democrats are ‘being radicalized’ by the Trump shutdown

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Donald Trump. (AFP / Jim WATSON)

Donald Trump complained on Wednesday that Democrats have been “radicalized” amid his month-long government shutdown over his border wall demands — and in a certain sense, he was right.

Earlier on Thursday, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor in which he accused Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) of crying “crocodile tears” over furloughed first responders.

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Bennet later appeared on MSNBC’s Meet the Press and delivered more fiery comments.

“I think Donald Trump is much more a symptom of our problems than he is the creator of our problems,” the Colorado Democrat said. “He is the accelerator.”

MoveOn.org national spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre noted that Bennet, a formerly quiet and low-key centrist Democrat, appears to have flipped a switch.

“I have to say, Michael Bennet has been radicalized,” Jean-Pierre told Meet the Press. “For anyone that follows the Senate, he is not someone that wants to lose his cool. It is interesting to watch when you have people that don’t want to be that bomb thrower.”

New Yorker writer Osita Nwanevu expressed similar sentiments on Twitter earlier in the afternoon as well.

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“What we’re seeing in how the Dems have handled the shutdown, in proposals like [Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth] Warren’s wealth tax, and in extraordinary moments like this is a party far less interested in meeting Republicans in some supposed middle ideologically or strategically,”  Nwanevu wrote, quoting a tweet featuring the video of Bennet on the Senate floor.

“Something is happening,” the New Yorker writer added.

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Nwanevu later noted that although the leftward push is “by no means a tidy shift,” it appears that “the [Democratic] party is really changing.”

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