Obama Declines to Endorse Radical ‘Squad’ Members

'Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country's promise by ... fighting for the good of all Americans...'

Former President Barack Obama released a lengthy list of endorsements over the weekend, but the name of one of the most prominent Democrats in Congress was excluded: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-N.Y.

Obama endorsed more than 100 congressional candidates running for federal, statewide, and state legislative offices in 17 states—including New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, and more—this November.

Some of his endorsements include:

  • former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate
  • former Obama aide and incumbent Rep. Andy Kim
  • several incumbent members of Congress, including Katie Porter, Max Rose, Antonio Delgado, and Joe Cunningham

He even endorsed progressive candidate Jamaal Bowman, who ousted longtime Rep. Eliot Engle in New York’s Democratic primary in June.

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Bowman has also received Ocasio–Cortez’s endorsement, but Obama did not offer her his formal support. 

“I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic and highly qualified Democrats,” Obama said in a statement.

“Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system, and fighting for the good of all Americans—not just those at the top.”

Also missing from Obama’s list of endorsements are Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., both of whom face tough primary challengers.

It’s possible he could endorse each of these “Squad” members at a later date, like he did in 2018 right before the midterm elections.

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Obama refused to endorse Ocasio-Cortez after she ousted her district’s Democratic incumbent, but ended up doing so at the last minute.

Facing contentious primary battles, however, Omar and Tlaib need party support if they hope to keep their seats.

Omar’s primary opponent has raised three times as much money as Omar’s campaign, and is already receiving support from the Democratic establishment.

Similarly, Tlaib faces a serious challenge from former Rep. Brenda Jones, D-Mich., a well-known leader in Detroit who currently serves as the president of Detroit’s City Council.

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