March 13, 2020

‘It Was Like Pulling Teeth’: AOC Backed Away from Sanders Campaign after Joe Rogan Endorsement
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) declined multiple pleas from the Bernie Sanders campaign to stump for the Vermont senator’s candidacy after the Iowa caucuses, according to HuffPost.Ocasio-Cortez was heavily involved in the campaign’s buildup to Iowa, headlining seven rallies for Sanders in Iowa over the weekend of January 24 to January 26.But the progressive New York representative disagreed with the campaign over its decision to promote the endorsement of Joe Rogan, the popular podcaster who has been criticized by LGBT activists for opposing puberty blockers for gender-confused children. He has also spoken out against the participation of biological males competing in women’s sports.Faiz Shakir, Sanders campaign manager, also reportedly criticized Ocasio-Cortez for a polarizing speech in which she advocated for those in attendance to help illegal aliens to avoid ICE. She also failed to mention Sanders’s name in the January 25th speech — a fact highlighted by Fox News.When the campaign attempted the same strategy of touting Ocasio Cortez for Sanders in New Hampshire, she refused multiple times before ultimately speaking the day before the February 12 primary at a Sanders rally.“It was like pulling teeth to get her to New Hampshire,” a source told HuffPost.Then, from February 11 to March 8, Ocasio-Cortez rejected numerous invitations from the campaign to speak on Sanders’s behalf in Nevada, South Carolina, and the 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday.She finally agreed to speak at a get-out-the-vote rally on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor on Sunday, which was an apparent last-minute decision, forcing the campaign to release a revised media advisory about the rally the night before the event.HuffPost reported that neither the Sanders campaign nor the Ocasio-Cortez's campaign office denied the facts of the story.“Senator Sanders and our campaign will never forget that in one of the most difficult moments for us, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez gave us a boost with her strong endorsement,” Shakir said in a praising statement. “And she has remained a steady and consistent ally, supporter, surrogate and adviser to the senator ever since.”In an interview in January, Ocasio-Cortez bashed the Democratic Party for being “too big of a tent.”“In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are,” she said.But Sanders’s campaign used the same tent language to defend the Rogan endorsement, saying in a statement that “sharing a big tent requires including those who do not share every one of our beliefs, while always making clear that we will never compromise our values.”Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden slammed the comments, saying on January 27 that there was “no room for compromise” and calling “transgender equality . . .  the civil rights issue of our time.”Ocasio-Cortez then said in an interview released February 2 that Democrats must “rally behind” the eventual nominee, “no matter who it is” — despite calling Biden “not a pragmatic choice” last June.
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