Ilhan Omar: Biden Isn’t the Candidate Progressives Want

(INSET: Joe Biden) House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism member Rep. Ilh
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, Charlie Neibergall

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) declared over the weekend that former Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t have what it takes to achieve “systemic” social change — yet another indication that his 2020 bid faces heavy skepticism from the Democrat Party’s progressive wing.

“There are few people who fit into the kind of progress that we all want to see in this country,” Omar said in an interview with the Guardian on Saturday. “And I would say he is not one of them.”

“I think it has been very clear to many of the people who have been creating the kind of movement that is exciting generations, that we want somebody who really has a plan that is going to tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have, and he doesn’t,” she added.

Omar’s criticism of Biden came after delivering a keynote address at the Iowa People’s Presidential Forum, an event organized by several progressive organizations, in which she argued the United States needs a president who “realizes we are not just fighting for one election; we are fighting for the very soul of our democracy and what society we want to become.”

Several Democrat presidential candidates —including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — attended the gathering.

The far-left “Squad” member is not the only lawmaker in the four-person clique to raise concerns about Biden’s bid for the White House. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), an author of the Green New Deal, has repeatedly taken aim at Biden’s climate change proposal for fossil fuels to be eliminated by 2050. However, according to the New York Democrat, the former Veep’s plan is too little, too late.

“Scientifically, anything that is less than helping us cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 is going to be too late,” she said. “It’s a start, and I think that what that has shown is a dramatic shift in the right direction, but we need to keep pushing for a plan that is at the scale of the problem.”

Ocasio-Cortez also previously knocked Biden’s performance at the first Democratic presidential debate, saying it “raised questions” about his capacity to be commander-in-chief.

“I think Joe Biden, his performance on the stage, kind of raised some questions in respect to that,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But I don’t want to say just because someone is 79, they can’t or shouldn’t run for president. I don’t want to… use a number as a proxy for capacity,” she told The New Yorker radio hour in July.


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