AOC says endorsing Bernie Sanders was an "authentic decision"

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen.

Bernie Sanders isn't going anywhere.

2020 Democratic presidential hopeful US Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wave to a crowd of supporters during a campaign rally on October 19, 2019 in New York City.

The New York native went from working as a poorly paid waitress as recently as a year ago to sitting in Congress, she said, crediting Sanders for her own political awakening and shaking up United States politics with his primary challenge of eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In contrast, Warren's campaign estimated that 20,000 people showed up for her rally in Washington Square Park in the heart of lower Manhattan in September, though the park itself only holds 10,000, the maximum permitted for the event. He called Ocasio-Cortez an inspiration to young people across the country, "who now understand the importance of political participation and standing up for justice".

The rally comes at a critical time for the Sanders campaign. While Sanders raised more money than any other candidate in the Democratic primary field last quarter, he has struggled to gain traction in polls.

Sanders' New Hampshire state director, Joe Caiazzo, was reassigned from his role to head operations in MA instead. "I am more than ready to take on the greed and corruption of the corporate elite and their apologists", Sanders told a gathering of thousands of people holding aloft placards at the Queensbridge Park. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has also been attracting large crowds, substantial fundraising numbers and has surpassed Sanders in a number of national and early-state polls.

The congresswoman announced her support to Sanders' campaign as his campaign battled to overcome the health scare and a surge in support for Elizabeth Warren, a US Senator from MA.

"When I was a baby, my family relied on Planned Parenthood for prenatal care", Ocasio-Cortez said. "I am not really endorsing Bernie Sanders today, but I'm here to listen, see what he's saying". When I was growing up and education was being gutted for kids in the 'wrong zip code, ' Bernie Sanders fought for us. The power plant is also next to the biggest public housing development in the USA and Bernie explained that his Green New Deal would help fight "environmental racism" like the one he claims is seen in this area.

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Sanders, who had two stents inserted in his heart to clear a blocked artery, said he is "feeling great".

"I feel decided", Ocasio-Cortez said.

When asked why she chose to support Sanders over Warren, a progressive female candidate, Ocasio-Cortez said her decision was less about the gender of the candidate and more about "feminist values in the campaign".

Others say Sanders needs to do a better job of telling his story and countering the narrative that he and Warren are essentially the same candidate. "The fact that [Sanders] has been fighting for these issues for so long struck me in a very personal way".

Earlier this week, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota also announced her endorsement of Sanders.

As for whether an endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez, who represents a district that voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in 2016, would move the needle in a general election?

He would raise taxes on the rich to pay for his plans, Sanders said, including through a wealth tax on those with a net worth of more than US$32 million. "It is hard to believe she's been in office less than one year but has helped transformed politics in America", Sanders said.

The timing of Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement sends a sharp message to the party establishment and the progressive movement: We socialists are not here for Elizabeth Warren's reformed capitalism.

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