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Elections

Biden Claims the Media Inflated AOC’s Role as Party Leader: ‘You Guys Got it All Wrong’

Joe Biden responds to a question during a forum held by the Giffords group and March For Our Lives in Las Vegas, Nev., October 2, 2019. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

Former Vice President Joe Biden is accusing the media of “bad judgment” in their coverage of progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying reporters and commentators have exaggerated her political rise as indicative of the direction of the overall party.

“You guys got it all wrong about what happened,” Biden told Axios on HBO in Iowa.

“You sound like Trump. Fake news?” host Mike Allen remarked.

“I do,” Biden responded. “It’s not fake. It’s just bad judgment.”

“You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary. AOC was the new party,” Biden continued. “She’s a bright, wonderful person. But where’s the party? Come on, man.”

That comment came amid a discussion on healthcare in which Biden agreed that while some of 2020 presidential opponents are all in on Medicare for All, “the party is not there at all.”

Ocasio-Cortez burst upon the political scene last year when she snagged her Bronx and Queens congressional seat in an upset election against 10-term incumbent and Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley. Since then, she has pushed a progressive agenda similar to that of Biden’s 2020 opponent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

The freshman congresswoman said in June that Biden would not be a “pragmatic” choice as the Democratic 2020 presidential nominee.

“If you pick the perfect candidate like Joe Biden to win that guy in the diner, the cost will make you lose because you will depress turnout as well,” the Bronx congresswoman explained. “And that’s exactly what happened [in] 2016. We picked the logically fitting candidate, but that candidate did not inspire the turnout that we needed.”

Biden still leads in the crowded Democratic primary race, followed by Sanders, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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