Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday dismissed Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s complaint about sharing a party with him, citing the broad support he receives from voters across racial and socio-economic demographics.
“Differences in the party have always existed,” Biden told NBC News. “I get broad support from the African American community, the black and brown community, the working-class, middle-class folks, a few of whom voted for Trump.”
“I’ve always had broad support within the party,” Biden continued. “I think this tent is plenty big for both of us.”
Ocasio-Cortez, 30, complained earlier this week about being in the same party as the 77-year-old former vice president, saying that “Democrats can be too big of a tent.”
“Oh God,” the New York City first-term Democrat said. “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are.”
Ocasio-Cortez added that she considers the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s standard for lawmakers to be too low.
“They let anybody who the cat dragged in call themselves a progressive,” she said. “There’s no standard.”
Last year, Ocasio-Cortez appeared to attack Biden for not being sufficiently aggressive in combatting climate change, her signature issue, slamming efforts by politicians to water down her Green New Deal.
“I will be damned if the same politicians who refused to act then are going to try to come back today and say we need to find a middle-of-the-road approach to save our lives. That is too much for me,” Ocasio-Cortez said in May after reports broke that Biden was planning to roll out a “middle ground approach” on climate change.
Biden previously called Ocasio-Cortez “the exception rather than the rule” and said the Democratic Party generally leans more moderate than her policies.
The congresswoman has endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 over Biden, the current front runner.
“We’re not allowed to talk about anything wrong the Democratic Party does,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I think I have created more room for dissent, and we’re learning to stretch our wings a little bit on the left.”