Culture

AOC Refused Multiple Requests From Sanders Aides to Appear With the Candidate

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, speaks during South by Southwest on Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a fair-weather supporter of Bernie Sanders? The firebrand congresswoman turned down multiple requests from the Sanders campaign to appear at events with the candidate, according to several sources.

“It was like pulling teeth to get her to New Hampshire,” said one unnamed source according to Huffpost.

National Review reports that AOC backed away from the Sanders campaign after controversial podcast host Joe Rogan endorsed him.

But the progressive New York representative disagreed with the campaign over its decision to promote the endorsement of Joe Rogan, the popular podcaster who has been criticized by LGBT activists for opposing puberty blockers for gender-confused children. He has also spoken out against the participation of biological males competing in women’s sports.

Faiz Shakir, Sanders campaign manager, also reportedly criticized Ocasio-Cortez for a polarizing speech in which she advocated for those in attendance to help illegal aliens to avoid ICE. She also failed to mention Sanders’s name in the January 25th speech — a fact highlighted by Fox News.

When the campaign attempted the same strategy of touting Ocasio Cortez for Sanders in New Hampshire, she refused multiple times before ultimately speaking the day before the February 12 primary at a Sanders rally.

Could her presence on stage at Sanders events have made a difference? Sanders’s people think her absence was noticed.

As an embattled Sanders prepared to mount an unsuccessful stand against former Vice President Joe Biden in Michigan on Tuesday, the campaign again turned to Ocasio-Cortez for help.

She agreed at the last minute to deliver a speech on Sunday at a get-out-the-vote rally on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. Sanders’ campaign issued a revised media advisory about the rally the night before, informing the press that Ocasio-Cortez would be present.

Neither the Sanders campaign nor the campaign office of Ocasio-Cortez denied that she had turned down requests for additional appearances.

Ocasio-Cortez’s office claims she was always going to dial back her appearances beginning in February.

Although the Sanders team would not say whether Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to avoid the trail reflected any dispute, Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, denied that the congresswoman’s itinerary reflected tensions with the campaign.

“The plan was always that she would slow down her surrogate work in February, after Iowa, to focus on her re-elect and congressional duties,” Hitt said.

But the Sanders campaign is whispering about her failure to mention Sanders’s name in Iowa in January as a reason for the apparent coolness between the two socialists.

As Vanity Fair first reported in February, Shakir apparently communicated to Ocasio-Cortez his dissatisfaction over her remarks about alerting the presence of immigration authorities. While Sanders has sought to scrap and restructure the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in its current form, his campaign has been trying to avoid the impression that it was encouraging noncooperation with federal law as it exists, according to one source. (The Sanders campaign denied on Friday that Shakir ever spoke to Ocasio-Cortez about her immigration remarks.)

After that, Ocasio-Cortez ― already annoyed with the campaign’s Jan. 23 decision to publicize the endorsement of controversial podcast host Joe Rogan ― grew less interested in helping Sanders’ campaign, according to the source. After her last event in Iowa on Jan. 26, she did not return to the trail for Sanders until 16 days later, at the New Hampshire rally featuring The Strokes.

Ocasio-Cortez has aways seemed more impressed with herself than any other politician. Besides, it appears that she wants to lead the revolution herself and Sanders is her main competition. Like all would-be dictators, she wants to be alone at the top of the pyramid, with no challengers and no opposition.

Sanders was in the way.