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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sparks liberal backlash over Joe Biden endorsement

An off-the-cuff endorsement of President Biden last week by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drew the ire of progressive voices and activists over the weekend.

The New York Democrat said during a podcast interview with “Pod Save America” that she’d back Mr. Biden, given the incumbent’s two primary challengers — Marianne Williamson and Robert Kennedy Jr. — for the Democratic nomination.

“I believe, given that field, yes,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said.

“I think he’s done quite well, given the limitations that we have,” she said. “I do think that there are ebbs and flows.”

The endorsement from one of the most far-left Democrats in Congress and member of the so-called “Squad” failed to sit well with progressives off Capitol Hill.

The former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign, Briahna Joy Gray, chastised both her ex-boss and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for giving Mr. Biden’s reelection bid their seals of approval.

“Endorsing Joe Biden now is a betrayal of progressive interests. It was true of Bernie Sanders’ endorsement & its true of AOC,” Ms. Gray tweeted. “*Most* Democrats don’t want Biden to run. Bernie and AOC are tragically out of step w/ the movement & the moment.”

Progressive journalist Cenk Uygur suggested the pair’s endorsements were “way, way too early.”

“First, this primary hasn’t even begun, let alone ended,” the “Young Turks” host tweeted. “Second, you’re enabling a very mediocre record. [Mr. Biden] gave Manchin more than he gave progressives. That should not be rewarded, especially this early.”

Ajamu Baraka, a liberal activist and organizer for Black Alliance for Peace, also piled on, tweeting that “AOC is such a fraud.”

The left-wing group Occupy Democrats was an outlier, siding with Ms. Ocasio-Cortez because they said the party would be stronger with unity.

“She’s right!” the group’s account tweeted. “Biden’s second term will be even better than his historically [successful] first term as long as we band together to reelect him and give him a mandate in the House and Senate.”

To that point, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison preached the same message of unity Sunday. He warned third-party candidates, such as the Green Party bid by academic Cornel West, that “this is not the time to experiment.”

“This is not the time to play around on the margins,” Mr. Harrison said on MSNBC’s “Inside with Jen Psaki.” “What we see is a lot of folks who want to be relevant and try to be relevant in these elections and not looking at the big picture that we are not going to — we got to reelect Joe Biden.”

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