Ocasio-Cortez made official the endorsement of her ‘Squad’ of progressive House Democrats, praising Sanders at the rally on Saturday afternoon in Queensbridge Park.
‘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, healthcare, housing, education and a living wage,’ Ocasio-Cortez told the roaring crowd, which the Sanders camp estimated at 25,872.
Basking in loud chants of ‘Bernie’s back,’ Sanders resumed campaigning weeks after being sidelined by a heart attack and told supporters he was ready to resume ‘the epic struggle’ for the White House.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., clasps hands with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., after introducing Sanders during a campaign rally on Saturday
Sanders hugs Ocasio-Cortez during a campaign rally on Saturday in Queensbridge Park
Sanders returned to the campaign trail to roars from the crowd, which his spokesman estimated at 25,872
Energized by thousands of backers gathered for a Queens rally, the 78-year-old Vermont senator said, ‘When I look at this huge crowd, brothers and sisters, I have no doubt that the political revolution is going to sweep this country, sweep Donald Trump out of office and bring the change that this country has long needed.’
He said he was ‘more ready than ever to carry on with you the epic struggle that we face today. I am more than ready to assume the office of president of the United States.’
To raucous applause, he declared: ‘I am back.’
It was the start of what he is calling a ‘vigorous’ return to campaigning as he tries to give his stagnant bid an instant shot of energy.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to a crowd of supporters of 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders
‘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,’ Ocasio-Cortez said of her fellow Democratic Socialist
The massive crowd gathers in Queensbridge Park on Saturday for the rally, as seen from the Queensboro Bridge
Sanders had emergency heart surgery this month but insists that he’s more committed than ever to the 2020 race. With the first voting contests less than four months away, he has some work to do.
Beyond health concerns, Sanders suddenly finds himself looking up at progressive rival Elizabeth Warren and establishment favorite Joe Biden in the polls.
Now he must reassure voters that he has the physical stamina to go forward while addressing broader concerns that his policies may be too far left to defeat Trump in a general election.
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders waves with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as she endorses him during his speech at a campaign rally in Queensbridge Park
This is Sanders’ first rally since he paused his campaign for the nomination due to health problems after a heart attack
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, speaks to supporters during a rally on Saturday
The endorsement from Ocasio-Cortez, the 30-year-old high-profile progressive, ‘sends the message that the movement is growing, that it’s gaining influence, that it’s gaining traction,’ Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir said.
While Sanders pledged during this week’s presidential debate to move forward with a ‘vigorous’ campaign, he’s moving cautiously in the short term.
The rally in Queens was his only scheduled appearance before he returns to Iowa late next week.
Trump supporters wave Trump 2020 flags from the 59th Street bridge during the Sanders rally