Tlaib opens up about why she hasn't endorsed Biden yet

Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibGeorge Conway: 'Trump is like a practical joke that got out of hand' Pelosi endorses Kennedy in Massachusetts Senate primary challenge The Democratic Party platform represents our big tent MORE (D-Mich.) is opening up about why she hasn’t yet joined most members of her party in endorsing presumptive presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenCast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response Biden tells CNN town hall that he has benefited from white privilege MORE.

In an interview with Newsweek published on Monday, the first-year lawmaker, who had previously endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell accuses Democrats of sowing division by 'downplaying progress' on election security The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence MORE (I-Vt.) in the 2020 presidential race, was pressed about why she hasn’t thrown her support behind the former vice president.

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“He hasn't directly called me or anything, but, no, right now I'm focused on my election, my constituents and my residents,” Tlaib told the outlet. “One thing that I know is I'm going to be really focused on turnout in the fall. When I focus on turnout, we will deliver Michigan to Joe Biden.”

“Trump only won Michigan by 10,000 votes. When I turn out my folks and my district, we'll be able to take back the state. When you focus primarily on getting people out to vote in a district like mine, [Biden] wins,” she continued. 

Pressed further in the interview about why it’s difficult for her to endorse Biden in the coming race, Tlaib said, “Because I don't want to get into a debate with my residents.”

“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.

“If the ultimate goal is to get rid of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE, that doesn't have to involve me actually endorsing Biden,” Tlaib continued. “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.”

The comments by Tlaib come as the Michigan Democrat gears up for a competitive primary early next month. She faces a challenge from Detroit City Council President and former Rep. Brenda Jones (D-Mich.), who has endorsed Biden for president.

Tlaib is one of two members of "the squad," a quartet of progressive House lawmakers who joined Congress in 2018, who have yet to publicly back Biden in the presidential race. The other is Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleySan Francisco considers changing local voting age to 16 Hillicon Valley: Election officials prepare for new Russian interference battle | 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy | GOP senators unveil bill to update tech liability protections 'Markeyverse' of online fans helps take down a Kennedy MORE (D-Mass.), who previously backed Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Don't expect a government check anytime soon No new taxes for the ultra rich — fix bad tax policy instead MORE (D-Mass.).

The remaining members of the group, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWhy Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence The Hill Interview: Jerry Brown on climate disasters, COVID-19 and Biden's 'Rooseveltian moment' House Democrats postpone vote on marijuana decriminalization bill MORE (D-N.Y.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats scramble on COVID-19 relief amid division, Trump surprise Larry Kudlow defends response to coronavirus: Trump 'led wisely' The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Woodward book revelations rock Washington MORE (D-Minn.), who also previously backed Sanders in the race, have thrown their support behind Biden.