She had previously endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., but told Newsweek that she doesn’t feel comfortable publicly supporting Biden right now—not necessarily for ideological reasons, but because she doesn’t “want to get into a debate with my residents.”
“He hasn’t directly called me or anything, but, no, right now I’m focused on my election, my constituents and my residents,” Tlaib sad.
“One thing that I know is I’m going to be really focused on turnout in the fall,” she continued. “When I focus on turnout, we will deliver Michigan to Joe Biden.”
Tlaib said that by focusing on increasing Democratic voter turnout in Michigan, she will help Biden win.
But that doesn’t mean she wants to endorse him, especially since she doesn’t want to defend his moderate policies or frequent gaffes.
“Residents come up to me and say, ‘Rashida, I don’t know. I hear Joe Biden this, Joe Biden that.’ I say, ‘Listen, do we need another four years of Trump? No. Then what I need you to do is go out there and focus on that,’” she said.
She said the question as to whether he is the perfect candidate no longer mattered with the remainder of the Democrat pack now on the sidelines.
“My constituents don’t need to be bogged down in, ‘Is he the best candidate?’ That’s not what you have to convince my residents. They need to come out in droves and be inspired by something. And that is going to be a vote against Donald Trump.”
Tlaib is the only member of “the Squad” to not endorse Biden.
Reps. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., have both endorsed Biden, even though they also supported Sanders during the primaries.
But Tlaib said that if her “ultimate goal” is to unseat Trump, “that doesn’t have to involve me actually endorsing Biden,” she claimed.