Politics

Ocasio-Cortez Lauds Bernie Sanders, Demands ‘Publicly-Owned’ America

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lauded Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as the man who helped her “recognize my inherent value as a human being” even as she demanded a “publicly-owned” America.

Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Democratic presidential candidate Sunday in New York City, and she said the senator had a huge impact on her life when she worked as a waitress and always heard “that your inherent worth and value as a human being is dependent on an income that another person decided to underpay us.”

Ocasio-Cortez has been joined by her progressive “squad” colleagues Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar in endorsing Sanders. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders: ‘Extremely Unfair’ To Compare My Socialism To Venezuela’s Socialism)

She said Sanders’ candidacy for Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 changed that narrative for her. “It wasn’t until I heard of a man by the name of Bernie Sanders that I began to question and assert and recognize my inherent value as a human being that deserves health care, housing, education and a living wage.”

Sanders lost that contest to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a bitter political battle.

Building on her theme of what Americans “deserve,” the congresswoman describe a socialist America where “everyone has a right” to health care and education. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders: The Key To Winning In 2020 Will Be Properly Explaining Socialism)

“We need to build a mass movement in America … that is rooted in principles of universality. Everyone has a right to health care. Everyone has the right to education … We need those principles to drive us forward. Our future is a public system and a publicly-owned system. We need to take power over our lives again.”

Ocasio-Cortez has captivated many on the left with her Green New Deal, which imagines an end to fossil fuel use, gas-powered cars and air travel within a decade. She has admitted the environmental plan is rooted in socialist thinking and “social justice.”

The congresswoman recently joined the leftist mantra that “billionaires should not exist,” though she clarified that it doesn’t mean “certain people” should not exist.

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a campaign stop in Hooksett, New Hampshire, U.S., September 30, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a campaign stop in Hooksett, New Hampshire, U.S., Sept. 30, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

Although Sanders recently experienced a heart attack, he has resumed a vigorous campaign schedule. His main challenge is overcoming both former Vice President Joe Biden and Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the nomination. When asked last week how he was different from Warren, Sanders declared that while his Senate colleague considers herself to be a capitalist, “I’m not.”