In 2020, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez only begrudgingly supported Joe Biden as the Democratic Party nominee for president.
But on Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez lavishly praised President Biden and expressed her intent to vote for him.
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Biden is being challenged for the 2024 Democratic presidential primary by Robert Kennedy, Jr. and others.
Ocasio-Cortez said Biden had a strong start in his presidency with the passage of the American Rescue spending plan, and the Inflation Reduction Act.
“I think he’s done quite well, given the limitations that we have,” Ocasio-Cortez said on the Pod Save America podcast Thursday. “I do think that there are ebbs and flows.”
The podcast host, a former White House speechwriter, asked her, “Will you be supporting Joe Biden for reelection?”
Ocasio-Cortez said bluntly, “I believe, given that field, yes.”
Self-help author Marianne Williamson and Kennedy, Jr. are the leading rivals for Biden. No other big-name Democrat looks likely to run, and Biden already beat Williamson once during the last primary.
Ocasio went on to slam third parties while acknowledging third parties’ capacity “to send a message and to really kinda discuss some of these issues in real time.”
“We cannot risk it, especially in critical electoral college states that are decided by tens of thousands of votes,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“The risk of just a fascist erosion that is really quite there. It is real. And I think every single one of us, no matter where you are on the political spectrum, whether you consider yourself moderate or whether you consider yourself as far left as can be, we have to contend with the very real material risk of people being harmed.”
In Thursday’s interview, Ocasio-Cortez stopped short of using the word “endorsement,” but she spoke more highly of Biden than at any point in 2020.
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In April 2020, Ocasio-Cortez pledged to “support the Democratic nominee” during an interview… but she wasn’t necessarily happy about it.
In January 2020, New York magazine asked Ocasio-Cortez about her role in Congress during a hypothetical Biden presidency. At the time, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was polling ahead of Biden in the Democratic primaries.
“Oh, God,” Ocasio-Cortez said, reportedly groaning. “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are… Democrats can be too big of a tent.”
Ocasio-Cortez has sparred with Biden in the past. She voted against the deal the president negotiated with Republicans in May to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, she voted against 2021’s bipartisan infrastructure law, and she cast the lone Democratic vote against a spending bill to keep the government operating and avoid a partial government shutdown.
As recently as last year, she demurred in an interview when asked whether she would support the incumbent president in 2024.
Even on Thursday, she pushed Biden.
“But… there are also areas that I think could have gone better,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The president and I think the Democratic Party in general continues to struggle with immigration… The DREAM Act is now over 20 years old, and it still has not passed.”
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.