A direct-mail piece from Ro Khanna's campaign calling out Rep. Mike Honda drew the attention of former Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean.
In an email from Democracy for America, the progressive group founded by the former presidential candidate, Dean declared, “Being a "liberal" isn't an insult, it's a badge of honor.” Dean has inserted himself in this race before. Earlier this year, he highlighted Khanna’s strong support from moneyed Silicon Valley interests.
In addition, there have been signs in recent weeks that Khanna was preparing to move even further to the right. During the local televised debate, Oct. 6, he often referenced his embrace of bipartisanship in the Republican-controlled House, while making two specific references to nearby Rep. Eric Swalwell, who, like Khanna is a moderate Democrat who successfully defeated Pete Stark, another long-time progressive representative in the 15th District.
In this context, it is not surprising, Khanna granted an interview with Breitbart which featured the headline, “Republicans could decide Silicon Valley race between Democrats.” Khanna relies heavily on utilizing Swalwell’s 2012 playbook to defeat Pete Stark. In the interview, Khanna told the web site, he would work with Republicans in the House and Honda is “out of touch” and “ideologically extreme.” However, the one strategy Swalwell never really used was to call out his opponent for being too liberal.