Topline: Three members of “The Squad”—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib—will endorse Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders by Saturday, securing a win for the senator after he went through a recent health scare and continues to fight for a top spot in the polls.
- Ilhan Omar made her endorsement Tuesday night, and in a Wednesday Twitter thread, wrote: “Bernie is leading a working class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnicity, and geography.”
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is scheduled to appear with Sanders at a Queens rally Saturday and is expected to announce her endorsement then.
- Omar also said Rashida Tlaib was on board to endorse Sanders, but it’s unclear if Ayanna Pressley, the fourth member of “The Squad,” will join in.
- According to the Washington Post, the endorsements are a win for Sanders after dropping in the polls and facing voters’ increased concerns about his health after he suffered a heart attack two weeks ago.
- Twitter lit up with enthusiasm over the news, causing #BernieSquad to trend and actor John Cusack—who rallied with Sanders in September to support teachers—joined in, saying he was “glad they did the right thing—stayed true to the real politics.”
- President Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning and didn’t name names, but declared, “Our record Economy would CRASH, just like in 1929, if any of those clowns became President!”
Chief critic: CNN’s John King faced heat for suggesting the #BernieSquad’s endorsements were “too urban.” It promptly drew backlash on social media, with users accusing him of commenting on the three Congresswomen’s racial identities. King took to Twitter and defended himself, saying “Please don’t take a snippet and twist my words,” and that his remarks were “a policy point. Nothing to do with color.”
Key background: Sanders, 78, is the oldest candidate to challenge Trump for the presidency in 2020. The Post reports that Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement was highly sought-after, given her meteoric rise in national politics. Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of The Squad have long been attacked by Trump and told to “go back” to their native countries, despite all four being American citizens. But time will tell if the #BernieSquad’s endorsements will boost Sanders’ rank in the polls.