News out of the critical battleground state of Michigan shows that Joe Biden has not bridged the enthusiasm gap with the left-wing of the Democratic Party.
Despite facing a challenging primary election, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is defying calls to endorse Biden.
Tlaib claimed that she’s declining to endorse Biden because she doesn’t want to quarrel with her constituents. A perplexing statement given Michigan’s 13th congressional district gave Hillary Clinton 79% of the vote in 2016.
According to the Washington Free Beacon:
“I don’t want to get into a debate with my residents,” she told Newsweek. “Residents come up to me and say, ‘Rashida, I don’t know. I hear Joe Biden this, Joe Biden that.’ I say, ‘Listen, do we need another four years of Trump? No. Then what I need you to do is go out there and focus on that.’ If the ultimate goal is to get rid of Donald Trump, that doesn’t have to involve me actually endorsing Biden.”
Tlaib has often been a thorn in the side of establishment Democrats. Tlaib supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) in the Democratic primary, along with fellow members of the far-left “squad” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.). While she has not endorsed Biden, Tlaib said she would focus on turning out the vote for him in Michigan, which Trump narrowly won in 2016.
She said her residents would be “inspired” by an opportunity to vote against Trump, not for Biden.
“My constituents don’t need to be bogged down in, ‘Is [Biden] the best candidate?’ That’s not what you have to convince my residents,” she said. “They need to come out in droves and be inspired by something. And that is going to be a vote against Donald Trump.”
Tlaib is attempting to fight off a challenge from Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones after prevailing last cycle in a six-way primary. Jones is black, as are 56.3% of the district’s residents.