Senator Bernie Sanders is coming back to the campaign trail with a Saturday rally in New York City endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, CNN reported.
While he was still in the hospital recovering after a heart attack, Ocasio-Cortez called Sanders on the phone to confirm that she would endorse him, as confirmed by their aides, and news of her decision has been greeted as a welcome — and validating — shot of adrenaline inside his campaign.
The “Bernie’s Back” rally in Queensbridge Park, just outside the border of the congressional district Ocasio-Cortez was elected to represent last November, comes days after word that she and “Squad” ally Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota would endorse Sanders. Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan is expected to join them soon, potentially at an event later this month in her home district.
In an interview with local news outlet NY1 ahead of the Queens rally, Sanders described Ocasio-Cortez as “one of the great political phenomenons in recent American history.”
“This is a young woman who a year ago nobody knew who she was. And in one year, in the United States Congress she has been a leader on major issue after major issue, including the Green New Deal, including issues of housing, including issues of addressing the crisis of student debt,” Sanders said. “So she is really an inspiration to people not only in New York but all over this country and I’m very, very proud that she is now a part of our campaign.”
Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have campaigned together before, during the summer of 2018, for progressive Democratic primary candidates. Saturday’s rally, though, will be something entirely different — as Ocasio-Cortez, who had publicly weighed endorsing either Sanders or Warren, commits herself to the 78-year-old’s second crusade for the Democratic nomination.
Her endorsement will underscore an argument the campaign has been making for months, which contends that Sanders is uniquely positioned to forge, as his campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, described it earlier this week, “the multiracial working class coalition we need to win.”