Representative Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) on Wednesday afternoon contradicted earlier reports that she was set to join fellow members of “The Squad” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) in endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I have not made any endorsement at this time. It is critically important to me to involve my residents and my district in every major decision I make, because staying rooted in our community makes our movement stronger,” Tlaib told the Detroit Free Press in a statement.
Tlaib explained that while she is bringing Sanders to her Michigan district on October 27, “I need to know that anyone I choose to endorse will fight for my residents, and I appreciate the opportunity for them to have a dialogue with Sen. Sanders about these critically important issues.”
The comments contradict several media reports and a tweet by Omar earlier Wednesday that suggested Tlaib was joining her and Ocasio-Cortez in endorsing Sanders.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 16, 2019
Tlaib’s hesitancy to endorse Sanders likely stems from her district demographics, which ensure a competitive 2020 primary race. She won the 2018 primary by four points over a crowded field.
“Tlaib is only squad member who will likely face a competitive primary, and she narrowly won a crowded primary where black vote split across several candidates. She is undoubtedly a Bernie Sanders fan, but unsurprising she seems to be taking different endorsement route,” New York Times reporter Astead Herndon tweeted in response to the news.