Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) formally endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Saturday and explained why she did not instead endorse a female candidate, arguing that it is about the “feminist values of the campaign” – not gender.
The New York lawmaker formally endorsed Sanders at a “Bernie’s Back Rally” in New York on Saturday, crediting him for helping her recognize her “inherent value as a human being who deserves health care, housing, education, and a living wage.” She echoed his vision to fundamentally transform the country and called for an America that is “multigeographic” and “multigendered.”
“Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) also offered her endorsement of Sanders, calling him the “only candidate who has built a movement.”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) has not formally issued an endorsement, but Sanders is expected to join the congresswoman for a tour of her district later this month.
The endorsements from key members of the far-left “Squad” sparked questions about their devotion to feminism and diversity. There is no shortage of women in the crowded Democrat field – Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Marianne Williamson (D) – yet they chose the oldest male candidate in the race.
Their decision sparked backlash and inspired a Vice article, which defended their decision from the critiques of “white feminists.” It is titled “Don’t Tell AOC, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib Their Bernie Endorsement Isn’t Feminist.”
“But it’s safe to assume ‘The Squad’ doesn’t need white feminists to help them understand which candidate best supports their feminist principles,” it reads in part.
Ocasio-Cortez said her decision to back Sanders over Warren had nothing to do with gender. Rather, she looked at the “feminist values in the campaign.”
“For me, this is not about ‘Why not any other candidate?’” Ocasio-Cortez said, according to NPR. “The fact that [Sanders] has been fighting for these issues for so long struck me in a very personal way.”
“One of the things that’s so important about what Senator Sanders is talking about, and what this campaign is about, is that it’s far larger than a presidential campaign,” Ocasio-Cortez told NPR, echoing Omar’s remarks. “This is about creating a mass movement.”
Warren did not make a big deal out of Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of her opponent, praising the freshman lawmaker for doing “terrific work.”
“I am a fan of the congresswoman. She’s done some terrific work. We have worked together, and I know that once this primary is over we’re all going to be on the same side,” Warren said.
Ocasio-Cortez echoed that sentiment during an interview with CBS This Morning alongside Sanders.
“I think she’s [Warren] a fabulous candidate and so frankly, Senator Sanders, Senator Warren, and myself are all on the same team in the party,” she said: