Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is worried Democrat 2020 primary voters are repeating the mistake they made in nominating Hillary Clinton in 2016 by supporting the party’s current frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, saying candidates of their mold fail to “inspire the turnout that we needed” to win the White House.
In a Vogue magazine profile, the freshman socialist Democrat known simply as “AOC” dismisses the notion that Biden’s overarching appeal to voters is his status as the race’s leading “moderate.”
“I think that he’s not a pragmatic choice,” Ocasio-Cortez said of Biden on the subject of his recent remarks praising the “civility” of segregationist senators. “That’s my frustration with politics today, that they’re willing to give up every single person in America just for that dude in a diner… Just so that you can get this very specific slice of Trump voters?”
“If you pick the perfect candidate like Joe Biden to win that guy in the diner, the cost will make you lose because you will depress turnout as well. And that’s exactly what happened to 2016. We picked the logically fitting candidate, but that candidate did not inspire the turnout that we needed,” she added.
Though Ocasio-Cortez has yet to endorse any of the 24 Democrats running for president, she has made overtures to Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whose campaign she volunteered for in 2016. The Green New Deal champion has also lavished praise on Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D-WA) climate change proposal, calling it the “gold standard” and a “phenomenal blueprint and example of where we need to go. It’s got the scale, the jobs, and justice.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks to Vogue are not the first instance in which she has criticized Biden’s over his comments on segregationist or other policy positions.
In a recent interview with Politico, Ocasio-Cortez accused the 2020 frontrunner of overlooking racial issues during his time in the U.S. Senate.
“If you ignore racism and if you don’t address issues of race with racists, then everything is fine, right?” Ocasio-Cortez said last Wednesday. “That’s how you work with segregationists: By not confronting the racism and their institutionalization of second-class citizenship and a lack of fully recognizing African Americans.”
During a recent New York City fundraiser, Biden named two segregationist senators, James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmadge (D-GA), in arguing that Congress was far more collaborative decades ago than today’s “broken” hyperpartisanship Washington.
“We didn’t agree on much of anything,” Biden said of the two lawmakers. “At least there was some civility. We got things done.”
Around the time of Biden’s April campaign launch, Ocasio-Cortez said the former vice president’s bid evokes considerably less excitement than Warren and Sanders.
“I can understand why people would be excited by that, this idea that we can go back to the good old days with Obama, with Obama’s vice president,” the congresswoman told Yahoo News podcast Skullduggery. “There’s an emotional element to that, but I don’t want to go back. I want to go forward.”
“I’m very supportive of Bernie’s run… I haven’t endorsed anybody, but I’m very supportive of Bernie,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “I also think what Elizabeth Warren has been bringing to the table is… truly remarkable, truly remarkable and transformational.”