Former Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview to air this Sunday, said that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is out of step with the mainstream of the Democratic Party and that media outlets reporting that the party has moved to the left have misjudged the political situation.
Biden was asked in an interview with “Axios on HBO” what he thought of “Medicare-for-all” plans being pushed by 2020 presidential rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. While Biden has called for health care reform, he has warned against a full-blown government-run takeover.
“The party’s not there, the party’s not there at all,” he said.
He went on to accuse to the media of misjudging what the ascension of Ocasio-Cortez to the House of Representatives meant for the direction of the Democratic Party.
“You guys got it all wrong about what happened,” Biden said.
Ocasio-Cortez, along with other radical left-wing freshman who have grouped together as the “Squad,” has proved highly influential since being sworn in and has helped move once-fringe proposals such as the Green New Deal into the Democratic mainstream.
But Biden pushed back against the claim that she represents a broader shift to the left by the Dems.
“It’s just bad judgment. You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary. AOC was a new party, She’s a bright, wonderful person. But where’s the party? Come on, man,” Biden said.
The comments tap into what is the central ideological debate as the Democrats pick who will face off against President Trump in 2020. Biden represents the most prominent more centrist Democrat, while Warren and Sanders — two of the Democrats behind him in the polls — represent a more radical left-wing shift. Warren, in particular, has made “Medicare-for-all” a centerpiece of her campaign.
Neither Ocasio-Cortez’s office nor Warren’s campaign immediately responded to requests for comment on Biden’s remarks.
Warren has been struggling in the polls, however, since the release of her “Medicare-for-all” plan last month, with a recent Quinnipiac poll showing her numbers slashed in half from 28 percent to 14 percent from the month before.
That poll showed her now relegated to fourth place, with Sanders dropping to fifth as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — who has also been critical of some “Medicare-for-all” plans — has surged into second place.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.