Ocasio Cortez’s Team in Talks with Joe Biden’s Campaign on Moving Further to the Left

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Members of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) team are speaking with Joe Biden’s (D) campaign, laying out the congresswoman’s progressive policy vision and gauging whether the presumptive nominee will agree to move in that direction further.

The New York lawmaker, who emphatically endorsed self-proclaimed Democrat socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), told Politico on Wednesday that there were several areas where Democrats have fallen short over the years, even when former President Barack Obama was in office. Now that Sanders’ political revolution no longer has a chance to enact change in the White House, leaders of the progressive movement are looking to Biden in hopes of reaching an agreement on the direction of the party as a whole.

“There are very real, tangible areas where Democrats even fell short perhaps during the Obama administration that I think I would like for us to have a plan to improve,” Ocasio-Cortez told Politico, naming four areas, “federal treatment of Puerto Rico, immigration, health care and climate change,” specifically.

While Sanders successfully moved the party, and Biden, further to the left over the course of his campaign — a point Obama purportedly emphasized during recent conversations with the Vermont senator — Ocasio-Cortez does not believe Biden has gone far enough, particularly on issues like climate change.

“I don’t think that the vice president has a climate change policy that is sufficient right now,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that she would “like to see us really work on that.”

While Biden has called to rejoin the Paris Climate Treaty and has warned that “we’re all dead” if we “don’t stop using fossil fuels,” he has not gone as far as his former challenger, who offered a monstrous $16 trillion climate change proposal central to his campaign’s platform.

Ocasio-Cortez has noted that her team is in talks with the campaign “to figure out what some of these policy conversations will [be] looking like” as the election rolls on. She has yet to issue a glowing endorsement as Obama, Sanders, and even Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have in recent days, but she has stressed the importance of rallying behind the Democrat nominee, regardless.

“You know, I would love to see the vice president clarify and deepen his policy stances on certain issues. But aside from that, you know, I think it’s incredibly important that we support the Democratic nominee in November,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that it would be “encouraging if Biden also picked someone who was a little bit more progressive” as a running mate.

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