Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) announced her endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2020 presidential campaign ahead of Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, joining Attorney General Keith Ellison in skipping over hometown candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
“Bernie Sanders isn’t fighting to win just one presidential election—he’s fighting for the soul of our democracy. Here’s more on why I’m so proud to give Bernie my endorsement for president of the United States,” Omar wrote on Twitter along with a video explaining her endorsement.
In the video, Omar says that Sanders is “the only candidate who has built a movement and continues to build a movement that transcends gender, ethnicity, religion.”
.@BernieSanders isn’t fighting to win just one presidential election — he’s fighting for the soul of our democracy.
Here’s more on why I’m so proud to give Bernie my endorsement for president of the United States: pic.twitter.com/1NLMPnzS1x
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 16, 2019
“We know that in order to take on Trump, we’re going to need a unifier, someone who understands what the fight looks like and someone who is ready to defeat him,” Omar says, revealing that Sanders inspired her to run for office.
“The Senator is the only candidate that is proposing a complete cancellation of student debt,” she adds.
Sanders called Omar a “leader of strength and courage” in response to the endorsement.
“She won’t back down from a fight with billionaires and the world’s most powerful corporations to transform our country so it works for all of us,” the senator wrote on Twitter. “Together we will build a multicultural working class coalition to win the White House.”
.@IlhanMN is a leader of strength and courage. She won't back down from a fight with billionaires and the world’s most powerful corporations to transform our country so it works for all of us.
Together we will build a multiracial working class coalition to win the White House. https://t.co/fQ6p9sLwle
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) October 16, 2019
Attorney General Ellison announced his endorsement of Sanders in June and supported the Vermont senator during his first presidential campaign in 2016.
“I definitely appreciate and admire Senator Klobuchar. I’m very proud of the work she’s done. But I have been a supporter of those policies that Senator Sanders is championing right now,” Ellison told reporters, as The Minnesota Sun wrote.
Klobuchar released a list of endorsements from 70 federal and state elected officials in Minnesota ahead of President Donald Trump’s Minneapolis rally last week. Her campaign has the support of Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park), and all of Minnesota’s Democratic members of Congress with the exception of Omar.
“I endorsed Amy Klobuchar for President because we need to put a leader in the White House who can get things done,” Walz said in a statement. “As President Trump continues to sow discord across the country, we must remember that Amy Klobuchar is a proven leader who has fought for Minnesotans from every corner of the state, and as President, she’ll fight for Americans across the country. We all know that we need to win the election in 2020 with a bold, positive vision.”
Two other members of “the Squad,” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) are expected to announce their endorsements of Sanders in the coming days, with the former planning to announce her support at at a “Bernie’s back” rally Saturday in Queens, New York. The fourth “Squad” member, Rep. Ayanna Presley (D-MA) is expected to endorse her home state U.S. Senator, Elizabeth Warren.
Analysts think that the endorsement of Sanders by three of the four “Squad” members could be a blow for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), but may be beneficial for Klobuchar, who’s attempting to run a more moderate campaign.
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