- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had one minute to deliver a speech nominating Sen. Bernie Sanders for president at the Democratic convention on Tuesday night.
- The democratic socialist called for “deep, systemic” solutions that would guarantee healthcare, higher education, living wages, and labour rights for everyone in the US.
- This comes after the New York democratic socialist endorsed and campaigned for Sanders during the 2020 presidential primary.
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez promoted the “mass people’s movement” for “21st century social, economic, and human rights” during her one-minute speech nominating Sen. Bernie Sanders for president at the Democratic convention on Tuesday night.
The democratic socialist called for “deep, systemic” solutions that would guarantee healthcare, higher education, living wages, and labour rights for everyone in the US. She described the movement that Sanders helped lead as one that strives to “recognise and repair the wounds of racial injustice” and other forms of bigotry and colonisation.
She added the movement also “realises the unsustainable brutality of an economy that rewards explosive inequalities of wealth for the few at the expense of long-term stability for the many.”
Convention rules require every candidate who earns sufficient delegates to be formally nominated, unless the candidate transfers their delegates to the nominee, so Ocasio-Cortez’s nomination of Sanders was only symbolic.
She celebrated Joe Biden’s candidacy in tweets shortly after her speech and attempted to clear up confusion online about why she nominated Sanders, rather than Biden.
“Congratulations, @JoeBiden – I deeply look forward to fighting for our future together and reclaiming our democracy in November,” she wrote.
If you were confused, no worries!
Convention rules require roll call & nominations for every candidate that passes the delegate threshold.
I was asked to 2nd the nom for Sen. Sanders for roll call.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 19, 2020
Her brief, but much-anticipated appearance at the convention comes after she endorsed and campaigned for Sanders during the 2020 presidential primary. The 30-year-old lawmaker made her opposition to Joe Biden’s moderate politics well known on the campaign trail and called his “middle-ground” policy solutions for climate change a “deal breaker” in May 2019.
But since Sanders dropped out of the race in April, Ocasio-Cortez joined the Vermont democratic socialist and Biden’s unity task force, co-chairing the climate policy group. Last month, the task force released more progressive climate policy recommendations that included speeding up Biden’s timeline for 100% clean energy by 15 years.
“Like in any collaborative effort, there are areas of negotiation and compromise,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a series of messages celebrating the initiative. “But I do believe that the Climate Task Force effort meaningfully & substantively improved Biden’s positions.”
After Business Insider broke the news last week that Ocasio-Cortez would get just 60 seconds to deliver her remarks at the convention, the congresswoman tweeted a poem about it.
“I only have a minute.
Sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, I did not choose it,
But I know that I must use it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Suffer, if I lose it.
Only a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.”
– Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
(and recited by Elijah Cummings) ???? https://t.co/ul9CE7NriV
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 12, 2020
Many progressives interpreted the congresswoman’s limited airtime as a snub by the DNC. Ocasio-Cortez has a massive national following and the second-most Twitter followers of any member of Congress after Sanders.
Ocasio-Cortez is the only member of the so-called “Squad” of freshman progressive congresswomen, which also includes Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, slated to speak at the convention. All four women have been weaponised by conservatives and are regularly invoked by the president in his attacks on the Democratic Party, which the GOP is seeking to paint as controlled by extremists.
On Monday, the Bronx Democrat took aim at former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican given a prime-time speaking slot at the DNC on Monday night, after he argued Ocasio-Cortez isn’t representative of the Democrats.
“People on the extreme, whether they’re on the left or on the right, they get outsized publicity that tends to define their party,” Kasich told BuzzFeed News. “You know, I listen to people all the time make these statements, and because AOC gets outsized publicity doesn’t mean she represents the Democratic Party. She’s just a part, just some member of it.”
Ocasio-Cortez argued that Kasich’s positions on reproductive rights and workers’ rights are far more out of step with the Democratic Party.
“It’s great that Kasich has woken up & realised the importance of supporting a Biden-Harris ticket. I hope he gets through to GOP voters,” she tweeted, adding, “It’s important to remember that Kasich is an anti-choice extremist … He is not a friend to workers.”
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