AOC Endorses Sanders and Credits Him With Fundamentally Changing Politics

By Victor Westerkamp

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), endorsed Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential bid in New York’s sun-drenched Queensbridge Park on Saturday, in his first public appearance since his heart attack.

Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign was lagging behind fellow Democrats Warren and Biden after suffering a heart attack just two-and-a-half weeks ago.

Speeches held during the rally, which was attended by over 20,000 fans, were largely dedicated to stressing Sanders’s health and stamina being sufficient for campaigning and eventually serving a term of presidency.

AOC endorses Sanders
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in New York on Oct. 19, 2019. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

Sanders addressed the issue as such: “I am happy to report to you that I am more than ready, more ready than ever to carry on with you the epic struggle that we face today,” Sanders told his supporters. “I am more than ready to assume the office of President of the United States. I am more than ready to take on the greed and corruption of the corporate elite and their apologists,” he said, and added, “To put it bluntly, I am back,” Fox News reported.

Then, preluding Cortez’s announcement of support, he said: “I’ve been around politics a few years,” the candidate explained, “and it is hard to believe the degree to which in less than one year, this woman, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress—it is hard to believe the degree to which she has transformed politics in America.”

Cortez, who had worked as an organizer on Sanders’s 2016 campaign, in turn, praised Sanders as her inspiration, crediting him for really making a difference, stating: “No one wanted to question the system, and in 2016, he fundamentally changed politics in America,” she said. “We right now have one of the best Democratic presidential primary fields in a generation and much of that is thanks to the work that Bernie Sanders has done in his entire life,” the Washington Examiner reported.

Reflecting on her own campaign to get voted into Congress, Cortez added: “I am proud to say the only reason I had any hope in launching a long-shot campaign for Congress is because Bernie Sanders proved you can run a grassroots campaign and win in an America where we almost thought it was impossible.”

Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir expressed the expectation that the two new endorsements will help woo the younger generation of progressive voters to back Sanders: “Those are two people who I think have immense power to mobilize young people, and I promise you you’ll be seeing them in Iowa, but not only in Iowa, but around the country, trying to get people engaged around the issues,” Shakir said.