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AOC hails Sanders movement for 'working towards a better, more just future' in 90-second DNC speech

House representative did not name Joe Biden as she praised Democrat progressives, but says her appearance served 'procedural purpose' for party

Andrew Buncombe
Tuesday 18 August 2020 22:47 BST
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivers 90 second speech at DNC 2020

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not mention Joe Biden as she delivered a brief speech at the Democratic National Convention endorsing her progressive mentor Bernie Sanders for president.

The New York congresswoman spoke to second the nomination of Mr Sanders, shortly before his rival Mr Biden was confirmed as the party's official candidate in November's presidential election.

“I want to thank everyone working towards a better, more just future for our country and our world,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said, speaking after the Vermont senator was formally nominated by labour activist and lawyer Bob King.

She said she sought to create a “mass people’s movement dedicated to addressing the wounds of racial injustice, colonisation, misogyny, and homophobia”.

When Mr Sanders, 78, announced in April he was suspending his campaign for the presidency, after Mr Biden made a series of stunning primary wins to breathe life into a run that appeared dead, he said his name would remain on the ballot and that he would continue to collect delegates.

The purpose was not vanity, he said, as some critics argued, but rather to put pressure on Mr Biden to adopt more progressive policies.

That has already resulted in a succession of policy think-thanks that have agreed with Mr Sanders view on points relating to the economy, the environment and criminal and racial justice.

Stacey Abrams endorses Joe Biden at DNC

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, 30, praised the campaign of Mr Sanders and other progressive candidates who “reimagined systems of immigration and foreign policy that turn away from the violence and xenophobia of our past”.

She said it was a movement that realised “the unsustainable brutality of an economy that rewards explosive inequalities of wealth for the few at the expense of long term stability for the many”.

In speaking in support of Mr Sanders, Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance on Tuesday night underscored the fact the veteran democratic socialist had lost his attempt to secure the presidency for the second time.

Soon after she spoke, Mr Biden passed the delegate threshold of 1,991 and was officially designed the party’s presidential candidate. He will accept the nomination on Thursday.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez rejected characterisations of her speech as "one of the shortest at the DNC". She said her appearance fulfilled a "procedural purpose" in seconding Mr Sanders's nomination, and NBC later clarified that while she did not endorse Mr Biden on Tuesday, she has done so in the past.

An irony of the contrasting fortunes of Mr Biden and Mr Sanders, who is on course to collect more than 1,000 delegates himself, is that the coronavirus pandemic and the death in police custody of George Floyd have further exposed the economic and racial faultiness that his campaign drew attention to.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez pointed to that when she delivered her speech.

“In a time when millions of people in the United States are looking for deep systemic solutions to our crises of mass evictions, unemployment, and lack of health care, and ​espíritu del pueblo and out of a love for all people,” she said.

“I hereby second the nomination of senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America.”

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