Sanders and Warren will have to duke it out for AOC’s endorsement

(Image: screenshot)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she won’t be giving her 2020 endorsement “any time soon,” setting up a potential battle with Democratic contenders coveting a nod from the progressive congresswoman.

The freshman New York lawmaker would not reveal to ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl whether Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would earn her presidential endorsement during an appearance on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Sunday.

(Video: ABC News)

“Are you going to endorse?” Karl questioned Ocasio-Cortez.

“Not now,’ she replied, laughing.

“It’s possible that I’ll endorse later on perhaps, you know, I do not see myself endorsing any time soon. We haven’t even had our first debates yet. I’m very interested in seeing how things play out. So we’ll see,” she added.

“Bernie Sanders just announced his list of New York endorsements. You obviously weren’t on that list because you’re not endorsing. Did he ask for your endorsement?” Karl asked.

“He hasn’t,” the 29-year-old self-proclaimed Democratic socialist responded.

“We’re focused on working together in our capacities as a — as co-workers. Me in the House and him in the Senate,” she added. “He has not asked for my endorsement but he has asked for my co-sponsorship on several bills which I am happy to offer.”

“Would he have an edge? I mean, you volunteered for his campaign, he supported your campaign,” Karl pressed.

“I think what we really need right now is a presidential candidate that is going to fight for the well-being of working-class Americans and all Americans,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And I think that he does that excellently. I think his policies do that excellently.”

“I believe Senator Warren’s policies do that excellently,” she added. “And I think that that’s really what we need to be looking for in terms of the agenda.”

That agenda, she explained, includes “the right to health care, as well as a $15 minimum wage, access to college for all and a “foreign policy that’s focused on peace-building and stability.”

“That is what I’m looking for, really, in a candidate for the United States,” she added, not directly naming any one of the more than 20 candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring.

In a recent Economist/YouGov survey, Warren placed ahead of Sanders by one point with 16 percent to his 15 percent. The poll also placed second following former vice president Joe Biden who garnered 26 percent.

When asked, “Which candidate or candidates are you considering voting for in the Democratic Presidential primary or caucus in your state in 2020?” 45 percent of voters responded by choosing Warren, just behind Biden at 50 percent. Sanders was chosen by 38 percent, trailing California Senator Kamala Harris who was at 39 percent.

A new CBS News poll showed Warren with a slim one-point lead over Sanders in battleground states.

Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement has been the question for many Democrats but she has previously turn down requests to commit.

“What I would like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent worldview and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward,” she told CNN earlier this year . “I think Senator Sanders has that. I also think Senator Warren has that.”

The New York lawmaker also had indicated at that tine that Biden would not be on her choice list.

“I will support whoever the Democratic nominee is,” she said on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery” in April, but added Biden “does not particularly animate me right now.”


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Frieda Powers


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