Friday, 15 November, 2019


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez interview: Bernie Sanders endorsement was an "authentic decision"

AOC officially endorses Bernie Sanders ahead of 2020 Sen. Bernie Sanders receives support from Ocasio-Cortez at NYC rally
Bennie Garza | 20 October, 2019, 18:02

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen.

Less than three weeks after suffering a heart attack, the Democratic presidential contender is beginning what he's calling a "vigorous" return to the campaign trail with a rally expected to draw thousands of supporters to New York City on Saturday afternoon. He called Ocasio-Cortez an inspiration to young people across the country, "who now understand the importance of political participation and standing up for justice".

Zimbwa hopes Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement will bring more people to support Sanders, rather than Warren.

The Democratic primary field consists of 19 candidates, 12 of whom took part in a debate on Tuesday.

Sanders' New Hampshire state director, Joe Caiazzo, was reassigned from his role to head operations in MA instead. Elizabeth Warren, whose progressive stances overlap with Sanders.

Seventeen days ago, Sanders suffered a heart attack while at a Las Vegas campaign event.

During the rally, AOC gave her official endorsement to Sanders, which may be the most sought after endorsements among progressive supporters of the Democratic party.

"When I was a baby, my family relied on Planned Parenthood for prenatal care", Ocasio-Cortez said.

Interested in Bernie Sanders? When I was growing up and education was being gutted for kids in the 'wrong zip code, ' Bernie Sanders fought for us.

"Last February, I was waitressing at a restaurant in downtown Manhattan, and I didn't have health insurance, and wasn't being paid a living wage, and facing sexual harassment at work", Ocasio-Cortez said.

The two politicians - who both describe themselves as Democratic socialists, and both support "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal - spoke with NPR's Michel Martin following the event.

Sanders, who had two stents inserted in his heart to clear a blocked artery, said he is "feeling great".

Ocasio-Cortez credited Sanders with inspiring her run for Congress in 2018, in which she unseated longtime Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the primary.

"I feel one of my duties as a citizen is to, you know, pay attention to what's going on", Margaret Zimbwa said.

She was a Sanders volunteer during his 2016 presidential campaign, but considered throwing her support to Sen. "There are many copies", she said, pointedly not mentioning any other candidate by name. "The fact that [Sanders] has been fighting for these issues for so long struck me in a very personal way".

Both women are members of what they call "The Squad", an outspoken, leftist group of four rookie, youthful and racially diverse congresswomen whom the president has accused of hating America.

As for whether an endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez, who represents a district that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016, would move the needle in a general election?

"Bernie Sanders did not do these things because they were popular", she said.

"They want us to believe that the only reality that we can live under is the status quo, that real change is impossible", said Sanders, also slamming moderate Democrats who questioned the affordability of his proposals during a debate in OH on Tuesday night. But when looking at the broader electorate, the poll found that just 38% of the electorate had a positive view of him, with 55% of voters saying they have an unfavorable view. (Though she never used the word "endorse" on stage, she later made it explicit on Twitter.) Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, also backed Sanders this week.

"I'm proud to say that the only reason that I had any hope in launching a longshot campaign for Congress is because Bernie Sanders proved that you can run a grassroots campaign and win in an America where we nearly thought it wasn't possible", Ocasio-Cortez said. "This is about creating a mass movement".

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