2020 Elections

Biden suggests Ocasio-Cortez's far-left politics won't play in a general election against Trump

Key Points
  • Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden says the party aligns with his "center left" sensibilities.
  • "What I've seen around the country is the vast number of Democrats are where I am on the issues," the former vice president tells CNN in an interview.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, speaks during a news conference announcing college affordability legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, June 24, 2019. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is proposing to cancel the nation's outstanding $1.6 trillion of student debt and offsetting the cost with a tax on Wall Street transactions.
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden said Friday that Democrats across the nation do not identify with the kind of far-left policies championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Biden, the elder statesman of the Democratic establishment, said in a CNN interview that the party aligns with his "center left" sensibilities. "What I've seen around the country is the vast number of Democrats are where I am on the issues," added the former vice president.

Ocasio-Cortez has become a progressive darling, ever since she swept into Congress after her stunning 2018 primary victory over longtime New York Rep. Joe Crowley. While she easily won the general election, the seat stayed Democratic and did not affect the balance of power in the House.

"By the way, I think Ocasio-Cortez is a brilliant, bright woman, but she won a primary," Biden said. However, he contended: "In the general election fights, who won? Mainstream Democrats who are very progressive on social issues and very strong on education and health care."


Biden, who's considered a mainstream Democrat, suggested his approach would be best to beat President Donald Trump, the same way many moderate Democrats, not far-left liberals, won in swing states during the midterm elections, giving their party the majority in the House.

However, like Ocasio-Cortez, some of Biden's rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination tack further left, such as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Both Sanders and Warren have expressed support for Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal to fight climate change and the idea of higher taxes on wealthier Americans.

In a more moderate approach, Biden has described the Green New Deal as a "crucial framework." On taxing the rich more, he has said he would repeal the tax cuts signed into law by Trump in 2017.

Ocasio-Cortez has not addressed Biden's remarks.

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