2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden appeared in an interview on CNN and stated that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — while “brilliant” and “bright” — doesn’t represent Democrats who can win a general election in a competitive district or state, The New York Post reported.
The Democratic presidential front-runner expressed his profound skepticism of the leftward tilt of his party, arguing that the majority of the Democrats are “center-left” — not “way left.”
During the interview, it was obvious that Joe Biden doesn’t feel the need to swing to the left to capture the Democratic base and, instead, hopes to set himself apart with his moderation.
He pointed to the 2018 midterm elections, where several swing districts were won by more moderate Democrat candidates.
“That’s what this election is about. I’m happy to debate that issue and all those issues with my friends because guess what, look who won the races. Look who won last time out,” Biden said.
“By the way, I think Ocasio-Cortez is a brilliant, bright woman, but she won a primary. In the general election fights, who won? Mainstream Democrats who are very progressive on social issues and very strong on education and health care.”
Ocasio-Cortez has risen to liberal stardom after she won a surprising victory against Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District primary in 2018.
CNN reported that Joe Biden’s clearest policy difference with the left — health care — was evident during the interview, too.
“I have a plan how to do that that’s rational, that will cost a hell of a lot less and that will work,” Biden said about health care, slamming Medicare for All, the liberal-backed proposal that would mandate Medicare as the single-payer system for all Americans. Despite talking about health care on the trail, Biden has yet to roll out a formal plan, but a number of his Democratic opponents, like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have fully embraced Medicare for All.
Joe Biden also stated that he would not abolish private insurance but would offer Medicare as “an option for anybody who in fact wants to buy into Medicare for All.”
“But if they like their employer-based insurance, which a lot of unions broke their neck to get, a lot of people like theirs, they shouldn’t have to give it up,” Biden said.