Cori Bush dismisses concerns of being 'co-opted' by establishment

Cori Bush dismisses concerns of being 'co-opted' by establishment
© Greg Nash

Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who worked as a Black Lives Matter organizer in Ferguson, Mo., before taking office, said in a new interview that she is not at risk of being “co-opted” by the party establishment.

“It really bothers me that people will look at me and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, your story is amazing and I really support you and look how far you've come. Look at all the adversity you've overcome. This is amazing! I love you,’" Bush told Teen Vogue. "And then when they hear somebody say something that they don't have full information on, then it's like, ‘Oh, my gosh, she's being co-opted. Oh yeah, I knew it wasn't real.’”

Bush in the interview addressed her appearance on a podcast hosted by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a vocal opponent of progressive causes such as "Medicare for All" and defunding police departments. Clyburn's endorsement of then-presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE was considered crucial to reviving the former vice president's campaign. Bush is a proponent of Medicare for All and endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Manchin fires warning shot on plan to expand Medicare Democrats steamroll toward showdown on House floor MORE’s (I-Vt.) 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.

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“We may not agree on policy, I may not agree with some of the things that he's done, but I tell you what: I'm a Black woman. I grew up in the church. I will not dishonor my elders who came through the civil rights movement, which I did not, who endured things that I never did," Bush said.

Bush also discussed the specific implications of calls to defund the police, which Clyburn has blamed for Democrats’ down-ballot underperformance in 2020.

“What we need to do is put money into mental health. Take money from [police], put it into education, put money into job training programs, to address substance use issues, right? Into our unhoused population. That's where that money needs to go," she told the publication.

Bush, the first Black woman elected to represent Missouri in Congress, defeated then-Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayCori Bush hits her stride by drawing on activist past Lobbying world Ex-Rep. Clay joins law and lobbying firm Pillsbury MORE in last year’s Democratic primary. Members of Clay’s family had held his St. Louis-area seat for more than 50 years.