Rep. Ilhan Omar expects Joe Biden to be more progressive after election

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Rep. Ilhan Omar expects Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to become a far more progressive than the moderate candidate he has presented himself as if elected.

Speaking during an interview with “Axios on HBO” that aired Monday, Omar (D-Minn.) made the comments after being asked what kind of negotiating power progressives will have with a Biden administration.

“A president is only as successful as his collaboration is with Congress. And we will have a cohort of progressives that are very clear about their objectives for wanting the implementation of Medicare-for-all and a Green New Deal and raising the minimum wage and not allowing for fracking,” the “Squad” member said.

Asked if there were any cabinet positions that she believed Biden must put a progressive in, she replied that the former vice president’s cabinet should be filled with progressives.

“I would say all of the cabinet positions should be filled by progressive Democrats,” she remarked, laughing.

Receiving pushback from the interviewer for saying that progressive policies were “most popular with the American people,” Omar was asked to explain why, in that case, a moderate like Biden was the Democratic nominee.

“I think sometimes there is a disconnect really in the person that you might believe should lead and the policies you might believe should be implemented,” she explained, referencing the support for Medicare-for-all in places where Biden, who backs a public option, won the Democratic primary.

“That should signal to Joe Biden that ‘these people trusted me to lead but these were the policies that they want me to lead on,’ and act accordingly,” according to Omar.

Omar was then asked to respond to the criticism of the former vice president that he would be easily swayed by the progressive left.

The “Squad” member joked at first that she knew that she and her fellow progressives had “become the boogeyman of the election,” but warned that there were two reasons for this.

The first, she said, was her and her fellow lawmakers willingness to hold President Trump and governing Republicans accountable. The second, she said, was that “we also resonate with the challenges that everyday Americans are having.”

“There has been a level of responsiveness … to the policies that we are advocating for that we know will have not just a future in his administration, but a future in the upcoming administrations after his,” she added.

“As progressives, we have a clear understanding of what the inside and outside game is.”

Omar’s comments come as progressives and moderates are working to put up a unified front in their general election fight against President Trump.

Over the weekend, fellow “Squad” member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) brushed off concerns that Biden’s opposition to a nationwide ban on fracking would negatively impact young voter turnout.

Speaking to CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, Ocasio-Cortez made the comments after being asked about the former vice president’s position on the issue shifting after clinching the Democratic nomination.

While acknowledging their disagreement — the Democratic socialist supports a nationwide ban and has introduced legislation on the topic — AOC said his shifting tone did not bother her.

Instead, she said, it would be “a privilege” to be able to lobby Biden as opposed to making no progress under President Trump on progressive hot-button issues.

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