Deputy campaign manager for President-elect Joe Biden, Kate Bedingfield, tried to dispel concerns expressed by some progressives that the Democrats would give in to pressure from moderates and Republicans.
Progressive Democratic lawmakers, such as New York legislator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota’s Ihan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, initially supported Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont over Biden in the Democratic primary. After Biden won the nomination, however, they stood behind him and called on their supporters to back his campaign.
As Biden approached victory in the electoral college last week, some moderates and Republican supporters of Biden pushed the elected president to govern from the center.
“I think that Vice President Biden entered the campaign with an incredibly progressive and aggressive agenda. Look at his climate plan, for example. It’s the boldest and biggest climate plan ever presented by a presidential candidate and now a president-elect,” Bedingfield said when asked about the concerns of progressives in an interview with NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday.
“He will honor those commitments. I mean, we, you know, he has spent time during this campaign bringing the people around this climate plan together. He was able to get the support of groups like the Sunrise Movement and the support of the workers for this plan. It’s a big, aggressive plan,” the campaign official claimed.
Ocasio-Cortez argued in a recent interview with the New York Times that Biden’s victory was largely the result of the campaign of progressive legislators and activists in the major theaters of war. “The history of the party tends to make us really upset the grassroots to get elected, and then these communities are promptly abandoned immediately after an election,” warned the congresswoman.
Washington Newsday turned to the Biden campaign and Ocasio-Cortez for further comments, but they did not respond immediately.
While Biden won the presidency and the Democrats managed to win at least one seat in the Senate, they lost several seats in the House of Representatives. The Democrats still control the majority in the House of Representatives – but some moderates have pointed their fingers at the progressives for losing their seats. Ocasio-Cortez and Omar resisted this criticism on Twitter.
“Every single House Democrat with changing seats who supported #MedicareForAll has won or is on the way to win re-election,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday. “Everyone. Individually. One.”
“Progressives are attacked by other Dems. All: silent progressives defend themselves and their democratic base. All: Stop being divisive,” Omar tweeted on Sunday. “Maybe people should stop attacking the progressives and work on unity instead of projecting.
Biden acknowledged the activists and progressives who helped him get elected in a victory speech on Saturday night. But he also nodded to the conservatives and moderates in his victorious coalition.
“I owe everything to my campaign team and all the volunteers, all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible. And to all those who have supported us: I am proud of the campaign we have built and run. I am proud of the coalition we have formed, the broadest and most diverse in history,” said the President-Elect.
“Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Progressives, moderates and conservatives. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Homosexual, heterosexual, transsexual. Whites. Latino. Asian. Native Americans,” Biden also noted…