Omar looking for 'gesture' from Biden that he understands importance of progressive issues

Omar looking for 'gesture' from Biden that he understands importance of progressive issues
© Bonnie Cash

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats step up pressure on Biden on student loan forgiveness Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Bleak midterm outlook shadows bitter Democratic battle MORE (D-Minn.), a prominent progressive lawmaker who had endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Sanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan MORE (I-Vt.) for president, says she is still waiting for some indication from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden that he grasps what really matters to voters on the left. 

“When it comes to our nominee — I of course will support — but I also know that it is going to be important for Vice President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE to really understand that poll after poll after poll, people wanted 'Medicare for All' as a policy platform implemented in this country,” Omar said in an interview on Crooked Media’s “What a Day” podcast Tuesday. 

In addition to Medicare for All, Omar said progressive voters are also seeking aggressive efforts to fight climate crisis and student debt. 

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“And so what I am looking for is a gesture from the vice president that he understands that these are the issues that are important to people,” she added.

Sanders dropped out of the presidential primary last week, effectively handing the nomination to the former vice president, whom he endorsed on Monday.

Omar said "every single exit poll" showed progressive issues are important to primary voters. 

“As I say, every setback is an opportunity for progress, and we look forward to the kind of progress that [Biden] provides in the reshaping of his platform — in being inclusive of so many Americans who really want a positive change in their lives," she said. 

Omar, the first Somali American lawmaker elected to Congress, said Muslim and immigrant voters will be key in battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida in November. 

“These are states that have overwhelming numbers of Muslim and immigrant voters, and most of us are interested in seeing what the policy agenda is that speaks to us when it comes to Vice President Biden,” she said.