Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez honors Bernie Sanders in procedural nomination at DNC
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez nominated Bernie Sanders on Tuesday in a convention speech that honored him for organizing “a historic grassroots campaign to reclaim our democracy.”
The New York congresswoman, 30, seconded the nomination for Sanders as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, hailing the 78-year-old Vermont senator and his “mass people’s movement working to establish 21st century social, economic and human rights, including guaranteed healthcare, higher education, living wages, and labor rights for all people in the United States.”
Nominating Sanders is a formality after he dropped out of the contest in April. Former Vice President Joe Biden won the required number of delegate in June, cementing his status as the presumptive nominee, but he allowed Sanders to keep his delegates at the convention as an olive branch to the senator’s supporters.
Ocasio-Cortez, who endorsed Sanders last year, has said she will support Biden as the presumptive nominee. She helped craft policy as part of the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force, made up of supporters from both campaigns.
She welcomed viewers in Spanish and English, and praised the progressive movement that lifted Sanders as one that fought against corporations and turned away from violence and xenophobia.
“En el espíritu del pueblo, and out of love for all people, I hereby second the nomination of Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America,” she said in her nomination speech of about a minute and a half.
Ocasio-Cortez is seen as a wunderkind of the party’s next generation of progressives. When reports suggested she would get less speaking time at the convention than Republican former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who spoke on Monday, young convention delegates began circulating a petition calling on the Democratic National Committee to allow her the same amount of time as Kasich, who spoke for four minutes. Requests for comment from the DNC and the convention were not returned.
Kasich, in a pre-convention interview, referred to the congresswoman as part of the Democratic Party’s “extreme” wing and not representative of the country’s moderate leanings.
Kasich announced his support of the former vice president, praising Biden’s “experience and his wisdom and his decency.”
“People on the extreme, whether they’re on the left or on the right, they get outsized publicity that tends to define their party,” he 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.”
In response, Ocasio-Cortez wrote Monday on Twitter that although she hopes Kasich gets through to Republican voters he’s encouraging to support Biden and running mate California Sen. Kamala Harris, he is hardly one to speak about the Democratic Party.
“Something tells me a Republican who fights against women’s rights doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party,” she said.
In a follow-up tweet, she called Kasich an “anti-choice extremist” who will and has “signed away our reproductive rights the moment he has the opportunity to do so.”
Shortly after her speech, Ocasio-Cortez congratulated Biden for being named the nominee, writing on Twitter, “I deeply look forward to fighting for our future together and reclaiming our democracy in November.”
She then thanked the convention for having her deliver the nomination speech on behalf of Sanders before roll call began.
“It’s been an absolute honor,” she said, using two hashtags — #NotMeUS, Sanders’ campaign slogan, and #Biden2020.
Joe Biden’s wife, former Second Lady Jill Biden, closed out Tuesday night’s session of the DNC.
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