Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday that he would give a “very, very important role” to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were he to win the presidency in 2020.
During a joint ABC News interview with Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, a Vermont Independent, hailed the New York Democrat as one of the most influential first-year Congress members in American history.
“I don’t know of any person — I’ve been in Congress for a few years — who in the course of less than one year, she’s been in office for less than one year, who’s had more of an impact in American politics as a freshman member of Congress than she has,” he said.
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Anchor Janai Norman noted that at age 30, Ocasio-Cortez is too young to be vice president. But she asked Sanders, 78, about another Cabinet position for his fellow democratic socialist, and he did not rule it out.
“She is, again, at the end of one year she is a leader in the United States Congress and her ideas are resonating all over this country,” he said. “If I am in the White House, she will play a very, very important role, no question.”
Ocasio-Cortez, like most of her “Squad” of progressive congresswomen, endorsed Sanders’ presidential bid last month following his heart attack on the campaign trail. On Saturday, she spoke at his Democratic presidential rally in Iowa.
“We are not pushing the party left,” she said, to massive applause. “We are bringing the party home.”
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During the ABC News interview, Sanders also criticized former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for floating a belated entry to the race without campaigning in early primary states.
“That is the arrogance of billionaires,” Sanders said “I’m doing five events this weekend right here in Iowa.”
“We’re all over New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, California. But he’s too important. You see, when you’re worth $50 billion, I guess you don’t have to have town meetings, you don’t have to talk to ordinary people,” Sanders said. “What you do is you take out, I guess a couple of billion dollars, and you buy the state of California.”