Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive

Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive
© Greg Nash

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalHouse punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA MORE (D-Wash.), co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a new interview Monday that the United States risks ending up with "another Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE down the road" if it fails to elect a progressive presidential candidate. 

"Even if it is a Democratic president, if we don't address these issues we will end up with another Donald Trump down the road," Jayapal told CBS News the same day she formally announced her endorsement of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Senate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Unemployment claims now at 41 million with 2.1 million more added to rolls; Topeka mayor says cities don't have enough tests for minorities and homeless communities MORE (I-Vt.). "Because people are suffering. And our job has to be to fix that suffering."

Jayapal first told The Washington Post on Sunday of her plans to publicly back Sanders. Her endorsement comes just weeks ahead of the Iowa caucuses and as Sanders battles with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick MORE (D-Mass.) for support among progressives. The congresswoman told CBS News that she had chosen Sanders over Warren due to a belief that her and Sanders possess the same background. 

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"At the end of the day, I think for me it came down to the fact that Bernie Sanders is like me: an organizer," Jayapal explained. "He believes the change that we need is bold and big, and institutional, but it doesn't happen without building a broader movement." 

She noted that she would publicly work to support a Warren candidacy if she won the Democratic nomination. But right now, Jayapal said that she believes Sanders is the candidate to "turn this country around." 

She also contrasted Warren and Sanders with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign cancels fundraiser with Mueller prosecutor Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation MORE, saying that she didn't think Biden would classify himself as a progressive.  

"It's about understanding that while it might sound more comforting to people to have gradual change, and just do small tweaks because it feels ... less disruptive, the truth is, we have deep structural inequities in the system today," she said. 

Jayapal, who was first elected to Congress in 2016, said in a series of tweets Monday that she was putting her support behind Sanders because he "has the bold passion, authenticity & clarity that working people across this country desperately need."

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"True progressives are the first to the best and most just idea, and then they build the movement to MAKE that idea real," she added in a separate tweet, noting, among other things, that Sanders helped lead the movement for "Medicare for All." 

In addition to Jayapal, Sanders's 2020 campaign has gained endorsements from progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAn affordable zero-emissions grid needs new nuclear Recovery First: The American comeback shouldn't hinge on warmed-over policy agendas Ocasio-Cortez blames 'political power' of police for lack of accountability following George Floyd's death MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Police killing in Minneapolis puts new scrutiny on Biden pick Pelosi says George Floyd was 'murdered on TV' MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibPelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' Overnight Defense: Pentagon memo warns pandemic could go until summer 2021 | Watchdog finds Taliban violence is high despite US deal | Progressive Dems demand defense cuts Progressives demand defense budget cuts amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (D-Mich.). Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairman Mark PocanMark William PocanHouse punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate House cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat MORE (D-Wis.) has also issued support to the senator. 

Warren has, meanwhile, won endorsements from freshman Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyWarren's VP bid faces obstacle: Her state's Republican governor Democrats blast CDC report on minorities and COVID-19 Overnight Defense: Pentagon memo warns pandemic could go until summer 2021 | Watchdog finds Taliban violence is high despite US deal | Progressive Dems demand defense cuts MORE (D-Mass.), Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroJulián Castro launches PAC to support progressive candidates Minority lawmakers gain unprecedented clout amid pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden leads Trump by 6 points in new poll MORE (D-Texas) and his brother Julián Castro, who announced his support after suspending his own presidential campaign. 

Sanders and Warren have based their campaigns on dismantling current systems in favor of more progressive agendas. Their visions have led to contentious confrontations with candidates such as Biden and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Here's how Biden can win over the minority vote and the Rust Belt MORE, who have called for more moderate proposals.