Ocasio-Cortez: Supporting Sinema challenge by someone like Gallego would be easy decision

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on Wednesday that supporting a primary challenger to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) such as Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) would be “the easiest decision.”

While appearing on the “11th Hour” on MSNBC, Ocasio-Cortez was asked by host Mehdi Hasan whether she agreed with fellow progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who recently suggested he would support primary challenges against Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

“I don’t believe she’s really given a compelling case as to why she should be renominated as the Democratic nominee for United States Senate in Arizona,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

“She has proven herself an obstacle to the right to vote in the United States,” the New York congresswoman continued. “She is not an ally on civil rights. It is becoming a precipice and rather contributing to the threat that we have in stabilizing our democracy. She is not standing up to corporate interest, in fact she is a profound ally to them. And I believe that, you know, she is not doing what voters in Arizona sent her to do.”

Manchin and Sinema’s opposition to changing Senate rules in order to pass voting rights legislation has particularly exasperated progressive lawmakers, though few have publicly supported a primary challenge. 

Host Mehdi Hasan asked Ocasio-Cortez if she would consider supporting Gallego as a primary challenger to Sinema, who faces her next election in 2024.

“I mean, if it came down to someone like Ruben Gallego and Kyrsten Sinema, I think that would be the easiest decision I would ever have to make. There is no comparison,” she said.

The Hill has reached out to Sinema’s office for a response.

Earlier this month, Sanders said he believed there is a “good chance” that both Sinema and Manchin will face primary challengers in their upcoming reelection bids and said he would be open to supporting those candidates.

Punchbowl News reported on Monday that Gallego traveled to New York this weekend to meet with some of Sinema’s donors about a potential Senate run in 2024.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Arizona Arizona Democrats Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Kyrsten Sinema Ruben Gallego Ruben Gallego the squad
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