High-profile progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar threw their support behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President as the U.S. Senator held his own on October 15 during a three-hour debate just weeks after suffering a heart attack.
The two U.S. congresswomen were both endorsing Mr. Sanders bid for the White House, Mr. Sanders’ campaign said.
The endorsement of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a new star on the leftist stage, and Ms. Omar, a Muslim Congresswoman who often targets President Donald Trump, suggested Mr. Sanders remained the Left’s favoured nominee. “Bernie is leading a working class movement to defeat Donald Trump…,” said Ms. Omar.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez would endorse Mr. Sanders at his comeback rally on October 19 in New York, campaign spokesman Mike Casca confirmed.
National polls have shown fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren, a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, pulling ahead of Mr. Sanders as a frontrunner alongside former Vice-President Joe Biden.
Mr. Sanders’ October 1 heart attack had led to questions about whether the 78-year-old was still a top contender among the 19 Democrats running to take on Mr. Trump in November 2020.
Mr. Sanders has vowed to return to full bore campaigning after having two stents inserted in an artery. He enjoys a passionate support base and raised more money for his campaign in the last quarter than any other Democrat, picking up $25.3 million.
On October 15 night, Mr. Sanders appeared as energetic as ever.
On the debate stage, he vigorously defended his Medicare for All plan against fellow Democrats arguing for more piecemeal health reforms.
Mr. Sanders also said the concentration of wealth in the hands of a small number of people in the United States was “a moral and economic outrage” and showed the need for a wealth tax.
“The truth is we cannot afford to continue this level of income and wealth inequality and we cannot afford a billionaire class whose greed and corruption has been at war with the working families in this country for 45 years,” he said.