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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 JayapalOcasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Poll shows Biden leading Trump, tight House race in key Nebraska district 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 TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' 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 SandersBiden defends his health plan from Trump attacks Progressives blast Biden plan to form panel on Supreme Court reform Sanders: Progressives will work to 'rally the American people' if Biden wins 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 WarrenBiden defends his health plan from Trump attacks Progressives blast Biden plan to form panel on Supreme Court reform Biden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver 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 BidenMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' 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-CortezHillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes MORE (D-N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump says he doesn't actually want Whitmer, Biden and Obama to be locked up despite chants Hillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair MORE (D-Mich.). Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairman Mark PocanMark William PocanThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Barrett touts independence to sidestep confirmation questions Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Poll shows Biden leading Trump, tight House race in key Nebraska district MORE (D-Wis.) has also issued support to the senator. 

Warren has, meanwhile, won endorsements from freshman Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyDemocrats unveil bill to reduce police violence against people with mental illness Perdue's rival raises nearly M after senator mispronounces Kamala Harris's name Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts MORE (D-Mass.), Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroFormer DNC finance chairman Henry Muñoz: Latinos 'need to lead ourselves' Overnight Defense: Trump says he's leaving Walter Reed, 'feeling really good' after COVID-19 treatment | White House coronavirus outbreak grows | Dems expand probe into Pompeo speeches House Democrats push forward on probe of Pompeo's political speeches 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 ButtigiegLGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 MORE, who have called for more moderate proposals.