Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) criticized the lack of mainstream discussion surrounding the recent sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden made by former Senate staffer Tara Reade, calling the situation a “silencing of all dissent” that amounted to “a form of gaslighting.”
“I think it’s legitimate to talk about these things. And if we want, if we again want to have integrity, you can’t say both believe women, support all of this, until it inconveniences you, until it inconveniences us,” Ocasio-Cortez said in response to a question during an online conversation Tuesday night with The Wing, a networking and community space for women.
She added that the dismissing of allegations was the “exact opposite of integrity,” after the Biden campaign categorically denied the allegation and caused the New York Times to retroactively edit its coverage of the allegation after complaining “that the phrasing was awkward.” The Times’s coverage came nearly three weeks after the story was first reported, while CNN has yet to detail the allegations.
“It almost felt like we started this cycle where we had kind of moved on from, you know, from all of this. And now it feels like we’re kind of back in it,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And, you know, the most diverse field that we’ve ever seen — that we’re kind of back kind of replaying old movies in a way.”
Ocasio-Cortez revealed on Wednesday that the Biden campaign had reached out to her after she told the Times in an interview that she had never spoken with the former vice president, but would not say if she would endorse Biden’s campaign.
.@AOC speaking on Playbook event says that since NYT article Monday, her and Biden's teams have been in touch. She says "we'll see" on if she's going to endorse him or be a surrogate. But she said it is important to support Biden in November.
— Eliza Collins (@elizacollins1) April 15, 2020
The freshman congresswoman, who is up for reelection in November, has clashed with Biden in the past. She said the former vice president would not be a “pragmatic” choice as the Democratic 2020 presidential nominee in June before endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). After Biden implied in December that Ocasio-Cortez did not represent the mainstream position of the Democratic Party, the New York progressive fired back by saying the party was. “too big of a tent.”
“In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are,” Ocasio-Cortez told New York Magazine.