The 30-year-old freshman congresswoman quickly pointed out that she falls five years short of the constitutional age limit to be vice president. The vice president – and president – must be at least 35 years old.
“It’d be an honor to be vice president,” Ocasio-Cortez told "Noticias Telemundo" correspondent Guadalupe Venegas in Las Vegas. “I can’t because I’m not old enough.”
Ocasio-Cortez gave a keynote address at Sanders’ Spanish-language town hall in Las Vegas on Sunday. She endorsed him for the White House in October and could play a key role for the Vermont independent in seeking Nevada’s large Latino vote, differentiating himself from fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“I was a community organizer in the Bronx for Sen. Sanders during the last presidential campaign,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “That was my first experience, organizing right there in the street for an election.”
“Before that, I did community work in education, with the Latino community and with the National Hispanic Institute, but that was my first time organizing for an election. It was an experience that I will never forget,” she continued. “It was an important part of my experience when I decided to run for Congress. I learned that there was another way of doing politics here in the U.S.”
Also in her interview with “Noticias Telemundo,” Ocasio-Cortez, whose mother is Puerto Rican, reiterated how important it was for her to continue to practice her Spanish.
“If we are first- or second-generation, it is important that we cultivate our language. I must speak and practice more to improve my own Spanish. Our language is the link with our families and our communities,” Ocasio-Cortez said. She had tweeted that she was "nervous" to host the town hall in Spanish because she doesn't speak the language often.
She also spoke about how far she’s come over the past year and a half, since ousting a powerful incumbent Democrat in New York's 14th Congressional District in a June 2018 primary and then defeating a Republican in the general election that November.
“Last year I worked in a taqueria, as a waitress and as a bartender, and now I am a congresswoman,” she said. “That is a huge change. But my values are the same. And we are saying the same thing we were saying last year: that we must fight for working families, for health insurance, for education for all children and a fair salary.”
"We don't have a Super PAC, we don't want a Super PAC. We don't go to rich people's wine caves,” Sanders told the crowd in a reference to an elite California fundraiser Buttigieg held in a Napa Valley wine cave last weekend, KABC-TV of Los Angeles reported.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., greet the crowd during a rally in Venice, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
“This is a campaign of the working class of this country, by the working class and for the working class," he said.
Thousands showed up to the beachside Venice rally just two days after the Democrats debated at nearby Loyola Marymount University.
"Our campaign is not only about defeating Trump, our campaign is about a political revolution,'' Sanders said, according to KABC. "It is about transforming this country, it is about creating a government and an economy that works for all people and not just the one percent.''
Ocasio-Cortez, who introduced the senator, endorsed him in October and has accompanied him at several of his rallies, including a large "Bernie's Back" gathering in New York City in October that came after Sanders recovered from a heart attack.
"Yes," Alberta replied, amid what seemed like an awkward silence at Loyola Marymount University. Alberta then continued with his question.
“How do you respond to what the former president had to say?”
Alberta had asked Sanders to respond to comments Obama made in Singapore earlier in the week.
“Former President Obama said this week when asked who should be running countries that if women were in charge you’d see a significant improvement on just about everything,” Alberta pointed out. “He also said, ‘If you look at the world and look at the problems, it’s usually old people, usually old men not getting out of the way.'”
Sanders responded: “I got a lot of respect for Barack Obama. I think I disagree with him on this one," prompting some audible laughter from the audience. “Maybe a little self-serving, but I do disagree.”
He then said the U.S. was becoming an "oligarchy" with an economy that serves only the "one percent."
“Here is the issue. The issue is where power resides in America. And it’s not white or black or male or female. We are living in a nation increasingly becoming an oligarchy. We have a handful of billionaires who spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections and politicians.
“You have more income and wealth inequality today than at any time since the 1920s. We are the only major country on Earth not to guarantee health care for all people, which is why we need Medicare-for-all. We are facing an existential crisis of climate change…
“The issue is not old or young or male or female,” Sanders continued. “The issue is working people standing up. Taking on the billionaire class. And creating a government and an economy that works for all. Not just the one percent.”
But some critics on social media fired back at Sanders, saying his age, gender and race were all factors that helped him become wealthy.
“But @BernieSanders would like us to believe that being a White male doesn't give him and his ilk any systemic advantages,” one Twitter user wrote.
Others accused Sanders of being a hypocrite — given he criticizes the rich but reportedly owns three homes.
Several pointed to what they described as “awkward silence” and “crickets” in the crowd after Sanders’ “I’m white as well,” quip failed to resonate. But mostly people online seemed unsure what the comment meant. Some asked Sanders to explain what he was trying to say while others had their own interpretations.
“Does this count as "White Supremacy" ???” one user wrote, tagging Sanders and Obama.
Another user asked: “Can you elaborate as to that response?”
“Oof! "And I'm White As Well" is not the bumper sticker Bernie Sanders needs,” a third chimed in.
One user seemed to defend Sanders, saying that being a white man was now considered "political baggage."
"Of course white men have privilege. But in today's environment, it's political baggage as well. It was a question about diversity and on that page, all that goes against Sanders. It was a self deprecating moment," she wrote.
One person applauded the remark, saying Sanders was acknowledging his own “white privilege.”
“Bernie Sanders, so far, is the only white candidate to say this tonight and recognize white privilege. I think that's worth something,” Charlotte Clymer wrote.
Another user said Sanders' remark was "his middle finger to the gender and racial purity test of the left. Basically saying, stop getting (fake) distracted on what gender or race I am and listen to what I have to say."
The debate came a day after a highly contentious vote to impeach President Donald Trump, which showed in dramatic relief how polarized the nation is over his presidency. With the Republican-controlled Senate likely to acquit him, the stakes are high for Democrats to select a challenger who can defeat Trump in November.
The forum highlighted the choice Democrats will have to make between progressive and moderate, older and younger, men and women and the issues that will sway the small but critical segment of voters who will determine the election. The candidates sharply disagreed about the role of money in politics, the value and meaning of experience and the direction of the American health care system
Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 17 are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.com
Prominent progressives are calling for additional scrutiny over anti-sex trafficking legislation by supporting a House bill which is seen by its sponsor as a potential first step to decriminalizing sex work.
The SAFE SEX Workers Study Act, sponsored by Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., would study the effects of two anti-sex trafficking bills — the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act [SESTA/FOSTA] — that became law last year. Opponents say the new law makes consensual sex work more difficult. According to Khanna’s office, the law has forced sex workers off of online platforms and into more dangerous situations.
“Sex workers have relied on such internet platforms to screen clients and negotiate boundaries for consensual, transactional sex services, including condom use and other harm reduction strategies,” Khanna said in a press release on Tuesday,
“While SESTA/FOSTA was intended to curb online sex trafficking, by banning the ‘promotion of prostitution,’ a host of internet platforms relied on by sex workers have shut down,” he added.
“Passage of SESTA was an important milestone and hard-fought victory for the victims and survivors of online sex trafficking. In this century, in this country, no man, woman, or child should be subjected to sex trafficking,” he said.
“Thanks to the enactment [of] SESTA, prosecutors can now go after these online traffickers, victims of this abhorrent crime can now have their day in court, and websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking are being shut down and being held liable for their actions.”
Spokespersons for Sanders, Warren, and Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The man was then briefly cut off by boos from the crowd before Sanders urged them to let him finish. The man said he voted for Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary but is now fully behind the president.
"I don't agree with anything you say. I used to. I voted for you in 2016," he said. "And I've been to Vietnam and seen what socialism has done. It's destroyed the lives [of many]."
The crowd mockingly laughed at his claims before he hit back, and reiterated the failures of socialism.
"You can laugh all you want," he shouted. "Donald Trump is helping our country. All right? He's a good man… Socialism does not work."
Liberal host-turned-congressional hopeful Cenk Uygur announced Friday he will not accept endorsements anymore following Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., receiving backlash for announcing his support of the candidate.
Uygur, a former MSNBC host who founded the progressive digital outlet The Young Turks, formally launched his bid last month to take over California's 25th Congressional District seat left vacant by Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, who resigned amid multiple sex scandals.
On Thursday, Sanders had formally endorsed Uygur's congressional bid.
"I’m endorsing Cenk because I know he will serve ordinary people, not powerful special interests. He is a voice that we desperately need in Congress & will be a great representative for CA-25 and the country," Sanders said in a statement released by the Uygur campaign.
"Cenk has been a strong advocate of Medicare for All and believes that healthcare is a human right, not a privilege," Sanders had said. "He understands that climate change is an existential threat to our country and the planet, and will fight for a Green New Deal."
The presidential hopeful added: "For years, Cenk has inspired people all across the country to organize against corrupt forces in our politics, and now he’s organizing the people in his district to do the same."
However, the 2020 candidate faced a fierce backlash among other progressives for endorsing Uygur. They referenced the candidate's history of controversial remarks — including derogatory comments about women, his repeated use of the N-word and past comments expressing support for bestiality.
Amid the pile-on, Uygur announced he would not accept any endorsements.
"I can't tell you how much I appreciate the endorsements of Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna, Nina Turner & local progressive groups that gave me their support. Their stance took real courage in the face of the corporate media and Democratic establishment onslaught," Uygur said Friday. "I want to be free of any influence other than the voters of CA-25."
"I will not be beholden to corporations, lobbyists or special interest groups, and I will not stand by while those groups attack my political allies," he continued. "That’s why I have decided that I will not be accepting any endorsements."
"My job is to represent the voters and the voters alone. The only endorsements I'll be accepting going forward is that of the voters of CA-25," he added.
Sanders formally retracted his support in a statement Friday.
"As I said yesterday, Cenk has been a longtime fighter against the corrupt forces in our politics and he's inspired people all across the country," Sanders said. "However, our movement is bigger than any one person. I hear my grassroots supporters who were frustrated and understand their concerns. Cenk today said he is rejecting all endorsements for his campaign, and I retract my endorsement."
Omar campaigns for Sanders; reaction and analysis on 'The Five.'
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders returned on Friday to the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House with freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, the high-profile and progressive firebrand member of Congress.
It was the congresswoman’s first time on the campaign trail with Sanders since she formally endorsed his Democratic presidential nomination bid at a rally in Minneapolis last month.
In her speech introducing Sanders, the congresswoman highlighted how she and Sanders have been labeled by the media and many political pundits as radicals.
Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota joins Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at a campaign event in Manchester, NH on Dec. 13, 2019
“If believing that 500,000 Americans should not be forced into medical bankruptcy every single year is radical, then we’re proud to be radical,” Omar said as she continued to list a number of examples of why “we should all be proud to be radicals.”
Omar is a member of a group of first-term female progressive House members of color who are collectively known as "the Squad." In addition to Omar, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan have also endorsed Sanders.
The fourth member of the group — Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — has endorsed Sanders' populist rival for the nomination, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Pressley was set to speak later Friday at the same event where Sanders and Omar were also speaking: an awards and fundraising gala for the New Hampshire Young Democrats.
Omar has repeatedly been embroiled in controversy during her brief tenure in Congress — including over comments about Israel and Jewish Americans that many Republicans and some Democrats considered anti-Semitic. Her comments have also created division among Democrats regarding U.S. policy toward Israel.
There were no demonstrations against Omar at the Southern New Hampshire University event, and people in the mostly pro-Sanders crowd that Fox News spoke to didn’t appear concerned or bothered that the senator was accompanied by the controversial congresswoman.
On the eve of the arrival of Sanders and Omar in New Hampshire, the state GOP issued a statement from a Republican state representative criticizing state Democrats.
"New Hampshire Democrats have really gone too far," Rep. Judy Aron said. "By bringing noted anti-Semite and opponent of Israel Rep. Ilhan Omar to New Hampshire, Democrats are showing how anti-Israel the modern Democrat base is.”
Sanders mostly delivered his standard stump speech, but he did take aim at President Trump over climate change — specifically at the Republican incumbent’s criticism on Thursday of Greta Thunberg, the teen climate change activist who was named Time’s Person of the Year.
Trump, who was named Time’s Person of the Year in 2016 and was on the shortlist for this year’s honors, took to Twitter to mock the Swedish teenager after she beat him out for the honor.
“So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” Trump tweeted.
Thunberg, who has Asperger's syndrome, has spoken publicly about the social challenges it creates.
Taking aim at Trump at his event in New Hampshire, Sanders said: “On this issue, what he is doing by claiming that climate change is a hoax, by actually attacking Greta Thunberg — what he is doing is not only endangering our country but the entire world."
Sanders' mention of Trump’s jab at Thunberg elicited boos from the crowd.
Buttigieg, a one-time longshot who’s soared in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire this autumn, stands at 18 percent among those likely to vote in the Granite State’s Feb. 11 Democratic presidential primary, with Biden at 17 percent and Sanders at 15 percent. Taking into account the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points, the three candidates are basically all tied up for the top spot.
Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg shakes hands with voters after filing to place his name on New Hampshire's primary ballot, in Concord, NH on Oct. 30, 2019
"What's remarkable about this is how close it remains," MassINC president Steve Koczela noted. “We've got three candidates, all within three points of each other — and Elizabeth Warren not that far behind, right there in that top tier.”
Koczela emphasized that the race for the New Hampshire primary “could go in any direction."
Warren – who like Sanders hails from a neighboring state to New Hampshire – stands at 12 percent in the poll. Since this is the first time the pollsters put out a survey this cycle in the New Hampshire presidential primary, no direct comparisons can be made. But her standing in the new poll is in line with her support in other surveys the past month in the New Hampshire primary. Warren registered from the upper teens to around 30 percent in most Granite State polling conducted from September through early November.
Warren has also seen her standing in the polls in Iowa and nationally deteriorate over the past month. The drop came after increased scrutiny of Warren's plans to pay for and implement a government-run, "Medicare-for-all." The populist senator continued to swear off raising middle-class taxes to pay for the high price tag attached to the single-payer health care system (roughly $20 trillion in new spending over a decade). And she broke with fellow progressive champion and 2020 rival Sanders — who wrote the "Medicare-for-all" bill in the Senate — over implementation. Warren's transition play would delay the immediate end of privately held insurance.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang – who’ve both spent a lot of time meeting voters in New Hampshire – each register at 5 percent in the poll.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and billionaire environmental and progressive activist Tom Steyer each stand at 3 percent, with former New York City mayor and multi-billionaire media mogul Mike Bloomberg at 2 percent. Bloomberg – who jumped into the race late last month – is skipping Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the first four states to hold contests in the presidential nominating calendar. Instead, he’s campaigning in the delegate-rich states that vote on Super Tuesday in early March, and beyond.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and best-selling spiritual author Marianne Williamson are each at 1 percent in the survey, with everyone else in the still large field of Democratic White House hopefuls registering less than 1 percent. That includes former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who last month declared his candidacy.
The poll also indicates that President Trump remains the overwhelming favorite to win New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary. Trump grabs the backing of 74 percent of those saying they’re likely to vote in the state’s GOP primary. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – who’s been campaigning in New Hampshire nearly every week since launching his long-shot primary challenge to Trump in April, stands at 9 percent. Former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois – a very vocal Trump critic – registers at 4 percent.
Senator Sanders called out Bloomberg as yet another billionaire trying to buy himself a position of power at a rally in Iowa.
SALEM, N.H. – Taking aim at the newest candidate in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders told Fox News on Monday that “I don’t think billionaires should be able to buy elections.”
Campaigning in New Hampshire, Sanders fired away at Mike Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and multi-billionaire business and media mogul who on Sunday declared his candidacy for Democratic presidential nomination.
As the populist independent senator from Vermont was finishing up a three-day campaign swing in the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House, Bloomberg launched TV commercials in media markets across the country that are backed up by a massive ad buy topping $30 million.
At a campaign stop in Salem, Sanders charged that Bloomberg “has decided to use all of his $55 billion, not to buy a yacht, not to buy a fancy car, but to buy the United States.”
And in an interview with Fox News and with two New Hampshire based newspapers, Sanders pointed to Bloomberg’s strategy not to campaign in the four early voting primary and caucus states that hold contests in February and instead concentrate his firepower on the delegate-rich states that vote on Super Tuesday in early March and beyond.
He argued that Bloomberg’s “not come to New Hampshire to do the town meetings that I and other candidates have done. Not gone to Iowa, not gone to South Carolina, not gone to Nevada. What I think a campaign is about is sitting down, talking to people, hearing their experiences, letting them know you.”
And the two-time White House hopeful emphasized “what he is doing is taking a billion dollars out of his $55 billion and saying ‘you know what, I want to buy this election.’ He is bombarding the airwaves in an unprecedented way, spending tens and millions of dollars on commercials all over this country. I don’t think that’s what American democracy is supposed to be about. I don’t think billionaires should be able to buy elections.”
But Sanders wasn’t done. He later highlighted that if he wins the nomination, it won’t be because of TV ads but rather his grassroots efforts.
“I'll tell you why I think we're going to win. It's not because of the TV ads. We have TV ads, we have radio ads. It's because we have a very strong volunteer organization that’s going to be knocking on a lot of doors and talking to a lot of people,” he noted.
Responding to the criticism in recent days from Sanders and numerous other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates that he’s trying to buy the nomination, Bloomberg highlighted on Monday that he’s “been very successful and I’ve used all of it to give back to help America.”
“I’m committed to fight for gun safety. I’m committed to fight for stopping climate change, which is a disaster for us. I’m committed to doing things like, I was lucky enough to be able to help flip the House from Republican to Democratic control, so that the House provided some oversight of the President, which the Republican House before that had not done. I’m using my money to do things like turning Virginia from red to blue,” he noted at a stop Monday in Norfolk, Virginia — his first campaign event since announcing his bid.
And Bloomberg said that he’s “fully committed to defeating Donald Trump. I think he’s an existential threat to our country. I’m going to make my case and let the voters, who are plenty smart, make their choice.”
Sanders was in New Hampshire soon after former Vice President Joe Biden – another of the top-tier 2020 Democratic contenders – hinted to a questioner at a town hall in Iowa that he’s considering four women to be his running mate if he wins the nomination: former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, former Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates, and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.
Asked if like Biden, he has some potential running mates in mind, Sanders shot back that “it's a little bit presumptuous to be talking about a running mate when you haven't won the nomination yet. So there are a lot of great people out there who could be running mates, but it's a little bit too early to talk about.”
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont takes pictures with supporters after holding a campaign event in Salem, NH on Nov. 25, 2019
Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton by 22 percentage points in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire, launching the one-time long-shot into a marathon battle with the eventual nominee.
But Sanders acknowledged that it’s a very different race this time around, spotlighting that “we're taking nothing for granted.”
One way he’s been stepping things up from four years ago is taking more questions from the crowds and greeting and taking photos with those who attend his rallies.
“I think in terms of selfies, it is clear as you can see that people like that, they like the idea of coming up to candidate and doing the photographs, so we’ve been doing that on a number of occasions,” he shared.
But he refused to play a political pundit, demurring when asked where he needs to finish in New Hampshire’s primary.
Instead, he said that “no one denies that states like New Hampshire and Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina and California are enormously important. And that's why so many candidates are here in New Hampshire. So to my mind, it is terribly important that we do well, that we win this thing and we're going to work as hard as we can to do just that.”
Jose Aristimuno, former DNC deputy press secretary, breaks down what the new Quinnipiac poll in New Hampshire say about the state of the Democratic presidential race.
ATLANTA — In the opening minutes of Wednesday night's Democratic presidential primary debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issued a warning to his party: Focus too much on President Trump and you'll lose the White House again in 2020.
Sanders was quick to criticize the president using harsh language, but made it clear that there are other important issues that require attention.
"We can deal with Trump’s corruption but we also have to stand up for the working families of this country," Sanders said. The Democratic socialist also pointed to climate change, health care and the outside influence of money in politics as examples of issues that deserve attention.
Sanders did initially join other candidates who kicked off the debate by lambasting Trump, calling him a "pathological liar" and "likely the most corrupt president in the modern history of America," but the senator, making his second run for the presidency, made sure to add that his attention is primarily on the issues.
Fox News Flash top headlines for Nov. 16 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com
A new poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers published Saturday shows South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg nine percentage points clear of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., indicating the one-time longshot is now a force to be reckoned with in the race for the Democratic nomination.
The CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll showed Buttigieg with 25 percent support, a 16 percent increase over his numbers in the September version of the poll. Behind Warren (16 percent) came former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who each garnered 15 percent support.
Warren's support has dropped six percentage points from the September CNN/DMR/Mediacom poll, while Biden's backing has slipped five percentage points. Sanders' support has risen four percentage points from two months ago.
No one else in the poll cracked double-digit support. In fifth place, behind Sanders, is Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who earned six percent of the vote.
"This @DMRegister poll confirms what we’re seeing every day — MOMENTUM!" Klobuchar tweeted Saturday night. "
Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J.; Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; businessman Tom Steyer and entrepreneur Andrew Yang are all tied at three percent. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has not formally announced his candidacy, earned two percent.
Buttigieg has moved to the front of the pack in other recent polls of Iowa. A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday pegged Buttigieg at 22 percent, Biden at 19 percent, Warren at 18 percent and Sanders at 13 percent. Buttigieg's support jumped 14 percentage points compared to Monmouth’s last survey in August, while Biden’s dropped seven percentage points, Warren’s edged down two percentage points, and Sanders jumped five percentage points from the August survey.
South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)
A Quinnipiac survey released last week however had Buttigieg one point behind Warren, at 19 and 20 percentage points respectively.
Buttigieg is a 37-year-old Navy war veteran and would be America’s first openly gay president if elected. Without any sort of Washington name-recognition, the mayor’s campaign seemed a longshot before he rose to middle-tier status in the spring.
Buttigieg for many seems to offer a more moderate approach than the radical policy proposals of Warren and Sanders, and unlike Biden, he does not have to fight many concerns about his age or past voting record. Among Iowa caucusgoers, 63 percent say Buttigieg's views are about right, while only seven percent say they are too liberal and 13 percent say they are too conservative.
According to the CNN/DMR poll, Buttigieg excels with caucusgoers with incomes over $100,000 (32 percent) and self-described moderates (also 32 percent) but underperforms with union households (17 percent) and those who call themselves very liberal (12 percent).
“There are a lot of persuadable voters and there are a lot of Democrats out there who just want to see things make sense. They just don't want to see crazy stuff," he said. "They want to see things a little more fair, they want to see things a little more just. And how we approach that I think will be important.”
The two-term Democratic president made the remarks at a gathering of the Democracy Alliance, a group of wealthy Democratic donors. He was interviewed by Stacey Abrams, who lost Georgia’s gubernatorial race last year.
Obama has largely stayed on the sidelines on the 2020 Democratic primary, and has not yet backed a candidate — even as former Vice President Joe Biden has invoked his name on numerous occasions. But Obama has made remarks indicating he is nervous about the drift to the extreme left on a number of issues by parts of the Democratic Party.
On Friday, he did not mention any candidates by name, but did cite immigration and health care reform as examples of where Democrats may be out of sync with the broader electorate.
Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who have both released plans on immigration and “Medicare-for-all” respectively in recent weeks. Warren’s government-led overhaul of the health care system would eventually abolish private insurance and cost $52 trillion, while Sanders’ immigration plan includes radical policies including welfare for illegal immigrants and a moratorium on all deportations.
“Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision, we also have to be rooted in reality and the fact that voters, including the Democratic voters and certainly persuadable independents or even moderate Republicans, are not driven by the same views that are reflected on certain, you know, left-leaning Twitter feeds,” Obama said.
The comment about Twitter feeds echoes remarks he made last month, when the former president took a swipe at “woke” virtue signalling and cancel culture, telling a Chicago audience to “get over” their obsessions with ideological purity tests.
“This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically woke, and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama said. “The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids, and share certain things with you.”
Fox News' Ronn Blitzer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The plan, which will be announced outside the Capitol Building on Wednesday afternoon is the left-wing lawmakers’ latest plank in their broader goal of overhauling every aspect of American life with a government-led approach to combat climate change and economic inequality.
The plan, will spend up to $180 billion over 10 years to repair and improve public housing, as well as eliminating carbon emissions. The bill would also fund solar panels and other “secure renewable energy sources.” Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez say it would improve living conditions for nearly two million people.
“The Green New Deal for Public Housing would transition the entire public housing stock of the United States, as swiftly and seamlessly as possible, into zero-carbon, highly energy-efficient developments that produce on-site renewable energy, expand workforce capacity and family self-sufficiency programs and focus on community development,” a release from Sanders’ office says.
It comes after the Green New Deal itself, a multi-trillion plan with a significantly broader scope than this legislation, has gone from a far-left, fringe idea to a mainstream idea among some 2020 Democrats — many of whom have their own version of the plan.
The left-wing lawmakers claim that this more limited bill will “spur economies of scale for weatherization retrofitting, and renewable energy, making them more cost effective and attractive throughout the country” and claims it would create quarter of a million union jobs every year and reduce public housing and energy costs.
“Faced with the global crisis of climate change, the United States must lead the world in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy,” Sanders said in a statement. “But let us be clear: as Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez understands, the Green New Deal is not just about climate change. It is an economic plan to create millions of good-paying jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and invest in our country’s frontline and vulnerable communities.
Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, said that climate change represents “both a grave threat and a tremendous opportunity.”
That intention, that climate change is the diving board for a deeper overhaul of the U.S. economy to a more left-wing vision of American society is clearer in other parts of the legislation.
The bill outlines how it would create “sustainable communities for families” with a series of grant programs including for childcare, senior centers, clean transit, “healthy food options” and “community gardens.”
Entities seeking to receive grant funding must meet certain requirements, including “Buy America” standards and “high-road labor standards.”
Ocasio-Cortez last month unveiled a host of a bills last month aimed at tackling perceived economic injustice — called “The Just Society.” One of those bills, “The Place to Prosper Act,” would impose national rent control by preventing year-over-year rent increases of more than three percent.
Another bill, "The Recognizing Poverty Act," would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to update the federal poverty level by taking into account “geographic cost variation, costs related to health insurance, work expenses for the family, child care needs, and new necessities, like internet access.” Another bill would urge the U.S. to ratify the U.N.’s Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
"Look, I have said this before, let me say it again — and I don't want [Ocasio-Cortez] to hear this, because [her] head will explode," Sen. Sanders, I-VT., said during a joint interview alongside the freshman House member.
"I don't know of any person — I've been 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 than she has."
When asked about the possibility of Ocasio-Cortez joining his cabinet, Sander responded that she's deserving of an influential role if he wins in 2020.
"She is, again, at the end of one year she is a leader in the United States Congress and her ideas are resonating all over this country," he said. "If I am in the White House, she will play a very, very important role, no question."
Sanders also criticized former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg in the same interview for floating the idea of his own presidential run, and declining to campaign in the early primary states.
"We're all over New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, California. But 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," Sanders said. "What you do is you take out, I guess a couple of billion dollars, and you buy the state of California."
Senator Sanders called out Bloomberg as yet another billionaire trying to buy himself a position of power at a rally in Iowa.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., had a billionaire in his sights at a campaign rally in Iowa Saturday night — and for once, it wasn't President Trump.
“Tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg, 'Sorry, you ain’t gonna buy this election,'" Sanders told a crowd in Coralville, outside Iowa City. " … Those days are gone."
Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, qualified Friday to get on the ballot in Alabama, which holds its Democratic presidential primary on March 3, 2020, a date known as Super Tuesday. His team is also making plans to file in Arkansas, which has a Tuesday deadline and also holds its primary March 3.
Sanders also excoriated Bloomberg for avoiding the earliest states on the primary and caucus calendar and focusing his efforts on the states that hold nominating contests on Super Tuesday and later in 2020.
“You’re not going to get elected president by avoiding Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada," Sanders said. "Yes, we don’t have a super PAC and I’m not worth $52 billion."
The billionaire businessman initially ruled out a 2020 run, but began to reconsider in recent weeks, citing concerns about the ability of the current crop of contenders to defeat Trump.
Now, the Sanders campaign is fundraising off the news. An email to supporters started off this way: "Did you see the news? Mike Bloomberg is filing paperwork to run for President of the United States. Just what America needs…another billionaire using his wealth to try to buy an election."
Bloomberg won two New York City mayoral elections as a Republican before winning a third term as an independent in 2009. In 2018, he switched his party affiliation to Democrat, saying he was "far away" from the Republican Party and wanted Democrats to provide the "checks and balances our nation needs so badly."
At an earlier campaign stop in Iowa Saturday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., appeared to refer to Bloomberg when she complained of candidates "trying to completely purchase our political system [by] running as Republicans and now tossing in their hats as Democrats in the field as well."
"But what we're here to say is that in a democracy, it shouldn't matter how much money you have, what should matter is whether you vote, whether you caucus when you turn out," she went on. "It's the numbers. It's the people. It's a movement."
Reaction from Brian Brenberg, executive vice president and chair of business and finance at The Kings College in New York, and Jason Nichols, professor of African-American studies at the University of Maryland.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Thursday released a sweeping immigration plan that would impose a moratorium on deportations, "break up" existing immigration enforcement agencies, grant full welfare access to illegal immigrants and welcome a minimum of 50,000 “climate migrants” in the first year of a Sanders administration.
The plan effectively establishes Sanders at the far left of the immigration debate, as he aims to energize a base that helped drive his 2016 primary campaign amid competition from other liberal candidates in the field this time around.
“My father came to America as a refugee without a nickel in his pocket, to escape widespread anti-Semitism and find a better life,” Sanders said in a press release. “As the proud son of an immigrant, I know that my father's story is the story of so many Americans today.”
“When I am in the White House we will stop the hatred towards our immigrant brothers and sisters, end family separation, and locking children up in cages. We will end the ICE raids that are terrorizing our communities, and on my first day as president, I will use my executive power to protect our immigrant communities and reverse every single horrific action implemented by Trump,” he said.
The plan was written in conjunction with several illegal immigrants who were shielded from deportation by former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In the plan, Sanders pledges to extend legal status to those eligible under the DACA program, as well as to grant relief for their parents. He also promises to use executive authority to allow illegal immigrants who have lived in the country for five or more years to stay “free from threat of deportation.”
On day one of a Sanders presidency, he would also place a moratorium on deportations until there was a full audit of "current and past practices and policies." He would also end the so-called Trump travel ban, as well as other Trump policies such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), action against sanctuary cities and the public charge rule that restricts green cards to those immigrants deemed likely to rely on welfare.
Sanders then wants to provide a “pathway to citizenship” via Congress for all illegal immigrants living in America — which he says is currently around 11 million — and would ensure that “old or low-level contacts with the criminal justice system” do not prevent illegal immigrants from walking along that path.
As president, Sanders also would decriminalize illegal border crossings, making it a civil violation. Among a number of enforcement policies he wants to overturn or abolish, he would also end detention for those without a violent crime conviction, and also fund “community-based alternatives to detention” that gives illegal immigrants “health, legal, educational and work resources.”
He would also set up a $14 billion federal grant program for legal defense for poor immigrants, end the use of video conferencing, and ensure access to translation and interpretation services "throughout every step of the legal process."
He would also create a new program to “welcome migrants displaced by climate change” and push to accept a minimum of 50,000 “climate migrants” in his first year in office. Additionally, he wants to increase aid to Central and South American countries, fund programs to end corruption, repression and poverty, as well as lifting caps on refugees.
As for those agencies that enforce immigration law, Sanders promises to “restructure” the Department of Homeland Security.
“Immigration is not a threat to national security,” his plan says. “It is long past time we break up the Department of Homeland Security and refocus its mission on keeping our country safe and responding effectively to emergencies.”
Part of that plan includes breaking up both Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — the two main agencies involved on the ground in enforcing immigration law in both communities and at the border. Matters to do with deportation and enforcement would return to the Department of Justice, customs matters to the Treasury and naturalization and citizenship to the State Department.
Instead, border enforcement would focus on “stemming the flow of firearms drugs at ports of entry that have contributed to the opioid epidemic, ensuring that labor standards on the border are enforced, and stopping human trafficking.” However, measures such as DNA testing and facial recognition technology would be abolished for immigration and border enforcement.
For those immigrants, illegal or not, who are in the country, Sanders accelerates the sometimes-cautious calls by the 2020 Democratic field to include illegal immigrants in welfare programs and other government services such as health care. Under Sanders, everything is on the table for everyone in the country regardless of immigration status.
Sanders promises that both his “Medicare-for-all” and “College-for-all” plans would be available regardless of immigration status. He also wants to include free universal school meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner (and snacks) — regardless of immigration status.
Additionally, he pledges to “address disciplinary practices in schools that disproportionately affect Black and Brown children.” He also wants Congress to pass Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-N.Y., Embrace Act — which opens up all welfare programs to illegal immigrants.
In addition to the path to citizenship, Sanders wants to streamline legal immigration channels, reduce fees, and provide funding to unite immigrants who are stuck in backlogs.
It remains to be seen to what extent other hopefuls in the 2020 race will go along with Sanders' plan — particularly former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who have taken more moderate stances on questions related to immigration enforcement. But parts of the plan are likely to be greeted with glee by the Trump campaign, which has viewed efforts to extend health care to illegal immigrants as damaging to Democratic chances in 2020.
When a number of Democrats raised their hands in June to a debate question about whether those in the country illegally should get health care, Trump declared it "the end of that race!"
Fox News' Andrew Craft contributed to this report.
Even Democrats are taking notice of the estimated price tag. Dr. Vin Gupta weighs in.
Former Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., warned Democrats with a prediction that President Trump will win Florida if his former colleagues Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., or Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., become the party's 2020 presidential nominee.
Nelson, who was defeated in the 2018 midterms by then-Gov. Rick Scott, was asked by The Daily Beast if his home state was out of the Democrats' grasp if one of the leading progressive candidates became the standard-bearer for Democrats.
"The answer is yes," Nelson told The Daily Beast. "I say this with the greatest respect and admiration and friendship for those other senators who embrace 'Medicare-for-all.' But the hard reality is, it is going to be a stretch too far for the Democrat candidate."
Both Sanders and Warren have been outspoken with their support for "Medicare-for-all." Last week, Warren released her plan with a price tag of a whopping $52 trillion over ten years, which has been criticized on both sides of the aisle and was even mocked last weekend on "Saturday Night Live."
However, a new New York Times/Siena poll sounded the alarm among some Democrats, showing Trump beating Sanders by two points and beating Warren by four points in Florida. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden held the lead in a general-election matchup in the state by two points.
In the latest Fox News poll, Biden has maintained a substantial lead over other Democrats with 31 percent support among likely primary voters. Warren and Sanders were neck-and-neck with 21 and 19 percent, respectively.
Rep. Ilhan Omar shows her support for Sen. Sanders at a rally at the University of Minnesota.
Amid repeated chants of "Lock him up!" and "Green New Deal," Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., issued a full-throated endorsement of Bernie Sanders at a spirited rally in Minneapolis' Northrop Auditorium on Sunday night, saying a "mass movement of the working class" is needed to take down President Trump and end "Western imperialism," as she put it.
"I am excited for President Bernie Sanders!" Omar thundered at the conclusion of her remarks, as rock music started playing.
Omar's endorsement was a break from the rest of the state’s delegation of Democrats, which endorsed Sen. Amy Klobuchar's presidential run. It also constituted a youthful shot in the arm for Sanders' left-wing campaign, which has remained competitive with rivals Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
"Here in Minnesota, we don't just welcome refugees — we sent them to Congress," Omar said to applause. "Right now, achieving that universal dream feels more out of reach than it ever has in my lifetime."
"None of us are going back. We're here to stay."
— Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.
Then, pointedly refusing to mention President Trump's name, Omar continued: "The current occupant of the White House likes to talk about making America great. But, every action, and virtually every word out of his mouth, is an attack on the very values and ideals that make this country a beacon of hope for me and the people around the world."
Later on, still without mentioning the president's name, Omar claimed that Trump called neo-Nazis "very fine people" — a suggestion that White House officials repeatedly stressed was taken out of context. And, in a nod to the "send her back" chant that erupted at a Trump rally earlier this year, Omar remarked forcefully, "None of us are going back. We're here to stay."
Omar insisted that Sanders' proposals — including free government-sponsored health care for everyone, including illegal immigrants — were not "radical."
"These are values that have been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for decades," Omar claimed, referring to the United Nations document. "But, here is the cold truth: We can't achieve any of these goals if we don't build a movement that is representative of all of our aspirations, all of our pain, and all of our shared trauma."
Omar also appeared to defend her decision to vote "present" on a congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide, saying it was an effort to combat using genocides selectively as a "political" football.
Sanders has been endorsed by other members of the so-called progressive "squad" of Democrats, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib. (The only member of the "squad" not to endorse Sanders is Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley.)
Days before the endorsements were announced, the longtime Vermont senator suffered a heart attack on Oct. 1, prompting fears that his health issues could derail his presidential ambitions.
Sanders was introduced at the arena by a spirited college student who complained that fellow students "are being put" into debt. The student acknowledged that he personally was not in much debt, but very much felt the pain of those who were.
Taking the microphone, Sanders praised Omar as an "extraordinary woman who 30 years ago was in a refugee camp in Kenya."
"Thank you, Ilhan Omar," Sanders said, his voice cracking.
Then, he unloaded a series of superlatives, punctuated by audible boos. "It gives me no pleasure to tell all of you what you already know: that today, tragically, we have a president of the United States who is a pathological liar — who is running the most corrupt administration in history, who has obstructed justice, who has used his office for personal gain, who has threatened to withhold national security funds from an ally in order to improve his political chances."
Before calling Trump a racist, sexist, bigoted homophobe, Sanders remarked, "This is a president who deserves to be impeached, and will be impeached."
As the crowd erupted in a "Lock him up" chant, Sanders stood by the microphone and didn't try to interrupt. But, minutes later, Sanders appeared to call for an end to divisiveness while reading from his prepared remarks.
"We are going to do exactly the opposite of what Trump is doing," he said. "He is trying to divide us up. We are going to bring our people together… around an agenda that works for all of us, not just the one percent."
"People say that Ilhan and I make an odd political couple. But in fact, there is really nothing odd about it at all," Sanders continued. "Ilhan and I share a common link as the descendants of families who fled violence and poverty, and who came to this country as immigrants. But that is not just my story, or Ilhan's story — that is the story of America."
He also said he and Omar both were working to eliminate "all student debt in America," and make all public colleges "tuition-free."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., will campaign for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in Iowa — a sign of the important role the freshman congresswoman will play in the Vermont senator's 2020 presidential bid in a vital state.
Sanders made the announcement Friday evening at a rally in Des Moines, according to the Des Moines Register, ahead of the Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration.
The duo will be at three events across two days between Nov 8-9, including a “Climate Crisis Summit.” The Register reported that she will promoting the Green New Deal at those events — an expansive government-run overhaul of the economy and energy output to fight climate change.
Ocasio-Cortez has shot to national attention since a longshot primary win against then-Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and has become the most visible member of the left-wing group of freshman congresswomen known as “The Squad.”
"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.
She said Sanders had spent decades fighting for those things to make life for her better, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP), universal health care, and student debt forgiveness.
“Bernie Sanders did not do these things because they were popular and that’s what we need to remember,” she said. “No one wanted to question this system and in 2016 he fundamentally changed politics in America.”
The congresswoman then appeared in a subsequent digital ad for Sanders. According to Politico, Sanders aides have said Ocasio-Cortez's endorsement represents the multiracial working-class coalition he is trying to build.