WASHINGTON – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not decided which Democratic presidential hopeful she wants to see win the 2020 nomination, but there is one potential candidate she said doesn’t “animate her”: former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I will support whoever the Democratic nominee is,” the freshman Democrat from New York prefaced when asked her opinion of a Biden candidacy during an interview with Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast on Sunday.
But a Biden run “does not particularly animate me right now,” she said, citing “a lot of issues.”
“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,” she said. “There’s an emotional element to that, but I don’t want to go back. I want to go forward.”
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The former vice president has not yet announced he is running, but many observers expect Biden – who leads most early polling – to enter the race to unseat President Donald Trump.
Ocasio-Cortez’s 2020 endorsement carries more weight than would normally be the case for a freshman lawmaker. A lightning rod for conservatives and inspiration for progressives, the charismatic congresswoman has drawn national attention with her bold proposals such as the Green New Deal to tackle climate change.
She was an organizer for fellow Democratic socialist, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in 2016, but she isn’t ready to give him her full support in the 2020 race just yet.
“I’m very supportive of Bernie’s run,” she said Sunday. “I haven’t endorsed anybody but I’m very supportive of Bernie.”
She said she also likes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She said what Warren “is bringing to the table” is “truly remarkable and transformational.”
Although conservative media, including Fox News, have depicted her as the face of “radical Democrats,” Ocasio-Cortez said she works well with some Republicans on Capitol Hill.
But she balked at naming any of them.
“I don’t want to risk anyone’s career,” she joked.
“It is an interesting political dynamic though because there are Republicans that I have a relationship with, but they’re very nervous about people finding out that we can actually work together well. Like they’re scared of getting primaried,” she said.
“If I really wanted to do damage I would endorse Mitch McConnell in his next primary.”
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