Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized President Donald Trump and promised in recent interview that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would play a “very, very important role” in the White House if Sanders becomes president.
The Democratic presidential candidate from Vermont and the young Democratic congresswoman from New York have been campaigning together in Iowa, and Sanders’ campaign is hoping Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement will help bring in young, progressive voters.
“There is a generation of young political activists that see AOC as the future of the party,” Stacey Walker, Sanders’ Iowa campaign co-chair, told Politico. “We will see an expanded turnout among the Latino community.”
“I don’t know of any person — I’ve in Congress for a few years — who in the course of less than one year, she’s been in office less than one year, who has had more of an impact on American politics as a freshman member of Congress,” the Vermont independent told ABC News’ Rachel Scott.
“At the end of one year, she is a leader of the United States Congress and her ideas are resonating all over this country. If I’m in the White House, she will play a very, very important role, no question, in one way or the other.”
During the interview, both Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders criticized former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is considering joining the large group of Democrats candidates running for the party’s nomination in 2020.
“I don’t think billionaires should be president right now,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I think that our democracy should be for everyday people, not for purchase.”
Sanders added, “He’s too important. You see, when you’re worth $50 billion, I guess you don’t have to have town meetings, you don’t have to talk to ordinary people. What you do is you take out, I guess a couple of billion dollars, and you buy the state of California.”
The Vermont senator also touched on the current impeachment inquiry.
“I happen to believe that in Donald Trump we have a president who has obstructed justice,” Sanders said. “I think he has used the office to enrich himself and his family, which is in violation of the emoluments clause.”
Ocasio-Cortez has previously said Sanders was her inspiration for seeking public office, ABC reported.
“It wasn’t until I heard of a man by the name of Bernie Sanders that I began to question, and assert, and recognize my inherent value as a human being that deserves health care, housing, education and a living wage,” she said at a rally in Queens, New York.
With Ocasio-Cortez by his side, Sanders has brought in larger crowds of between 2,000 and 2,4000 people to each of his three campaign stops in Iowa this past weekend, Politico reported.
“Some campaigns struggle to make 1,000 face-to-face contacts in a week,” Sanders’ Iowa state director, Misty Rebik, said. “We just tripled that in 24 hours.”
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