By Chris White
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she’s never met former Vice President Joe Biden, nor has the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s campaign reached out to the New York lawmaker for advice.
A Biden-Ocasio-Cortez rally could happen in the future, but there is a lot of fence-mending that needs to happen before such an event transpires, Ocasio-Cortez said in a New York Times interview published Monday. The progressive lawmaker intends to pressure Biden on several issues.
“I have not talked to the vice president,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Times before suggesting that a potential rally with the former vice president is not impossible.
Ocasio-Cortez said she recognizes the importance of defeating President Donald Trump in November, but still intends on needling Biden until he lists toward some of the policies that made Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed socialist, a household name.
“It’s a tightrope,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to whether critics will say her maximum pressure tactic will somehow help Trump. The New York Democrat was one of Sanders’s most important and highest profile surrogates before he ended his White House bid on April 8.
She added: “I do not feel a choice in adhering to my principles and my integrity, and being accountable to the movement that brought me here. But also, I don’t want another term of Trump.”
While Biden won older voters, he also underperformed in key demographics, Ocasio-Cortez noted.
“I’ve flagged, very early, two patterns that I saw [among Biden’s campaign], which is underperformance among Latinos and young people, both of which are very important demographics in November,” she said, adding: “I think this is about how we can win.”
Ocasio-Cortez said she plans to make Biden uncomfortable.
“The whole process of coming together should be uncomfortable for everyone involved — that’s how you know it’s working,” she said.
Despite their differences, she said she will support the Democratic nominee.
“I’ve always said that I will support the Democratic nominee. But unity is a process, and figuring out what that looks like is part of this whole conversation that I think Bernie and Warren and other folks are a part of as well,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
Sanders lost several primary states to Biden before the Vermont senator ended his campaign. Biden easily won Mississippi, Missouri, and Michigan, which Sanders won in 2016. The former vice president also came up big during Super Tuesday.
Biden is running up the numbers among older voters, but is failing to capture the imagination of the younger people who flocked to Obama in 2008. His inability to energize the millennial generation and its peers has not gone unnoticed in Sanders’s camp.
Biden’s campaign has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment confirming Ocasio-Cortez’s assertions.
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