It looks like socialism trumps sisterhood — at least sometimes.
Two of the four freshman representatives who make up the radical group known as “the squad” are backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary race, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
For Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, it’s a move that puts Sanders’ leftist aims over the potential of helping Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren become the second woman to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
It also comes at a time when Ocasio-Cortez, a liberal flamethrower whose policies are detested by conservatives, is posting poll numbers that show her comparing favorably with national politicians like President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — at least in terms of being widely disliked by her political opponents.
According to a New York Post report Wednesday, a late September poll published by George Washington University showed AOC is viewed in a “somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” manner by a combined 45.1 percent of those surveyed.
That’s in the same ballpark as Trump’s unfavorable number — 52.6 percent combined — and Pelosi’s, which is at 51.2 percent combined, the Post reported.
For a freshman lawmaker to be as well known — and as widely disliked — as veteran lawmakers like Pelosi or figures who hold much higher offices like Trump is no small matter.
However, as disliked as Ocasio-Cortez is among sane Americans, she’s wildly popular among the Democratic base, and the Sanders campaign no doubt hopes to harness that popularity in a three-way contest involving Sanders, Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to the Post, Ocasio-Cortez plans to make the endorsement official by attending a “Bernie’s Back” campaign event in the New York City borough of Queens on Saturday.
But for Omar, who’s become a lightning rod for critics thanks to a series of anti-Semitic public statements — as well as appalling irreverence to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 — there was no waiting until the weekend.
She might even be one of Sanders’ biggest backers.
A statement released by the Sanders campaign makes that clear.
“Bernie is leading a working class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnic and geography,” Omar said in the statement.
“That is why he is fighting to cancel all student debt. That is why is he fighting to make all school meals universal. That is why he is fighting for a humane immigration policy that treats immigrants as human beings and not criminals,” she added.
“And it’s why Bernie is fighting to end forever wars and truly prioritize human rights in our foreign policy — no matter who violates them. And it’s why I believe Bernie Sanders is the best candidate to take on Donald Trump in 2020.”
In fact, Omar was apparently so excited by Sanders’ candidacy that she used a Twitter post early Wednesday to announce that fellow “squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib was also on board.
But that was premature and left numerous news outlets, including Fox News, reporting erroneously that three-fourths of “the squad” supported Sanders.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Tlaib issued a specific statement Wednesday to clear the air.
“I have not made any endorsement at this time,” Tlaib’s statement said, noting that Sanders would be touring her Michigan district at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the fourth “squad” member, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, hasn’t issued an endorsement yet.
Considering she and Warren share the same home state, it would be a strange twist indeed if Pressley decided to go with Sanders.
But in a Democratic primary fight that’s being dominated by two far-left candidates in Sanders and Warren, and an increasingly left-trending Biden, strange twists might be just beginning.
And it’s hard to see how any of this is going to help the eventual nomination winner beat Donald Trump in 2020, when those “squad” members’ endorsements in the primaries could end up hurting in the general election.
One look at the AOC poll numbers should be proof of that.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.