Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Getty/Lars Niki)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discusses Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and a possible 2020 endorsement

The New Yorker wants a nominee with a "coherent worldview and logic," which says Warren and Sanders both have


Shira Tarlo
May 10, 2019 5:48PM (UTC)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Thursday that she was "entertaining" the possibility of throwing her support behind a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, saying that Sens. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and appear to be strong contenders.

"What I'd like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent worldview and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward," the freshman congresswoman told reporters. "I think Sen. Sanders has that. I also think Sen. Warren has that."

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The New York Democrat said it would take "a while" to decide on whom she will endorse, but she wants to see "working people" in the Democratic primary who are focused on combating income inequality, tackling climate change and being "bold to really big ideas that are going to make people's lives better."

Ocasio-Cortez did not respond to a question about whether she would support former Vice President Joe Biden, who jumped into the crowded 2020 Democratic primary field late last month.

"I'm not sure," she said with a laugh. "Now, it's getting a little nuts."

The lawmaker said last month that she would not be excited if Biden entered the 2020 race, but conceded she would back "whoever the Democratic nominee is."

Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified democratic socialist who organized for Sanders during his 2016 presidential bid, has emerged as a progressive firebrand on Capitol Hill since she was sworn in as a new member of the House of Representatives in January. The political novice sent shockwaves through the nation's capital last June when she toppled 10-term incumbent former Rep. Joe Crowley, then the fourth most powerful Democrat in the lower chamber, in a primary election.

She and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced an ambitious — and provocative — transformation of the economy to tackle the threat of climate change and income inequality in February. The non-binding resolution, known as the Green New Deal, has been criticized by Republicans on Capitol Hill, who contend the proposal would move the country toward socialism and destroy the economy. Although few congressional Democrats have publicly voiced their support for the climate measure, multiple 2020 Democratic presidential contenders have unveiled detailed proposals to tackle the issue of global warming as combating climate change emerges as a top issue for Democratic voters ahead of the 2020 election.

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Ocasio-Cortez's comments about the 2020 presidential field came the same day she and Sanders, who also identifies as a democratic socialist, unveiled legislation to take on the "greed" of the banking and credit card industry. The bill marks the first time the leftist darlings teamed up for a joint push in Congress, and suggests the two have maintained a close relationship since Ocasio-Cortez arrived to Washington.

Although Ocasio-Cortez has refused to endorse Sanders for the 2020 Democratic nomination, the pair's documented relationship and shared democratic socialist agenda, which includes ideas like, Medicare-for-All, tuition-free public universities, reducing the influence of "dark money" in politics and climate change and reforming the criminal justice system, suggest it could be only a matter of time before Ocasio-Cortez gives Sanders a formal endorsement.


Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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