- Justice Democrats, the grassroots group that powered Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s insurgent congressional bid, came out swinging against former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday morning.
- "While we’re going to support the Democratic nominee, we can’t let a so-called ‘centrist’ like Joe Biden divide the Democratic Party and turn it into the party of ‘No, we can’t,’" the group’s president wrote in a statement shortly after Biden announced his 2020 bid.
- Justice Democrats and other progressive activists argued that Biden’s decades-long record makes him out of step with the party’s base.
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Justice Democrats, the grassroots group that powered Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s insurgent congressional bid, came out swinging against former Vice President Joe Biden shortly after Biden announced his 2020 presidential bid on Thursday morning.
The group’s president, Alexandra Rojas, argued that the 76-year-old Delaware Democrat "stands in near complete opposition to where the center of energy" lies in the Democratic party.
"The party needs new leadership with a bold vision capable of energizing voters in the Democratic base who stayed home in 2016," the group wrote in a Thursday morning statement. "While we’re going to support the Democratic nominee, we can’t let a so-called ‘centrist’ like Joe Biden divide the Democratic Party and turn it into the party of ‘No, we can’t.’"
Rojas argued that Biden’s decades-long record on issues including criminal justice reform, gay marriage, and the Iraq War is out of step with the future of the party.
"We don’t need someone who voted for the Iraq War, for mass incarceration, and for the Bankruptcy Reform Act while voting against gay marriage, reproductive rights, and school desegregation," she wrote.
Rojas tweeted Thursday morning, "The reality is that @JoeBiden has failed to lead when it mattered."
In a video announcing his candidacy, Biden framed himself as someone who’ll stand up against the rise in racism and division during Trump’s presidency. And Biden has long posited that he can appeal to blue-collar and red state Democrats who might have voted for Trump or not voted at all in 2016.
The Biden campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Justice Democrats linked to an opinion column written by Vox editor Matthew Yglesias, who made the case that Biden’s "tarnished legacy" will doom him to become "the Hillary Clinton of 2020" — incapable of galvanizing progressives and beating Trump.
"As Democrats gear up to take on Trump, the party’s best shot is to do anything possible to avoid repeating the 2016 experience of defending decades’ worth of twists and turns on various issues from the Iraq War to LGBTQ rights to banking deregulation," Yglesias wrote.
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