By Mona Salama
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the most powerful surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 2020 presidential campaign warn that Democrats will be making a “dangerous” mistake if they don’t rally behind whichever Democratic presidential candidate wins the nomination to take on President Trump in the general election.
“Bernie has said this, I absolutely believe this: whoever gets the nomination, we have to rally behind them, no matter who it is,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with Time. “And I would hope that everybody would do so if Bernie is the nominee as well.”
On Sunday, former Secretary of State John Kerry and a powerful surrogate for former Vice President Joe Biden was reportedly overheard complaining that Sanders is “taking down” the party.
When asked if she thinks the Democrats’ attempts to stop Sanders from winning Iowa and the Democratic nomination, the freshman lawmaker said it has been “overblown,” but suggested she could see a situation the party would use rules to block the Vermont senator.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for people to try to use superdelegates or other kind of subversive policies to deny anybody the nomination because it’s incredibly divisive to do so, and very demoralizing, which is a direct threat in November,” she said, adding, “The moment you start playing games trying to deny whoever is the nominee, we really start to get into dangerous territory in terms of defeating Trump.”
Ocasio-Cortez believes that Sanders, who has been absent campaigning in Iowa due to ongoing Senate Impeachment trial in Washington, will have a “good finish” heading toward the rest of the early states. She pointed to her own primary in 2018 against former New York Rep. Joe Crowley as proof that Sanders can secure the nomination.
“No win is ever predetermined, and no win is ever a sure thing, ever,” she said. “And especially in the primaries, nothing is ever predictable. Politics is not predictable. And that’s why it’s so important that we just keep our noses down and keep organizing and keep phone banking and knocking on doors and doing what we can because this thing is not over until the nomination is secured.”
A RealClearPolitics average of Iowa polls has Sanders leading the field in the state at 23 percent, a 4-point lead over former Vice President Joe Biden, at 19.3 percent.