Campaigning with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told the crowd she’d be honored to be the Vermont senator’s running mate if he manages to snag the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
“It’d be an honor to be vice president,” Ocasio-Cortez told Telemundo in a wide-ranging pre-Christmas interview.
She later admitted, though that, “I can’t because I’m not old enough.”
Ocasio-Cortez just turned 30 years old and is five years short of the age threshold set by the Constitution to hold the office of President. All nominees to the office as well as their running mates must be 35 years old by election day to qualify to hold a spot on a presidential ticket.
The Telemundo interview yielded a number of strange quotes from Ocasio-Cortez, including her observation that President Donald Trump is “afraid of strong women” — his White House staff roster, which features a number of prominent female senior aides seems to speak differently on the subject.
Ocasio-Cortez formally endorsed Sanders earlier this year, and told Telemundo that she’s been a Sanders supporter since at least 2016: “I was a community organizer in the Bronx for Sen. Sanders during the last presidential campaign. That was my first experience, organizing right there in the street for an election.”
“Before that, I did community work in education, with the Latino community and with the National Hispanic Institute, but that was my first time organizing for an election. It was an experience that I will never forget,” she added. “It was an important part of my experience when I decided to run for Congress. I learned that there was another way of doing politics here in the U.S.”
The Sanders campaign activated Ocasio-Cortez for the senator’s Nevada appearances, in the hopes that the Spanish-speaking New York Rep can motivate the state’s fast-growing bloc of Latino voters to commit to voting for the Democratic socialist in that state’s February cacuses (Sanders is currently running behind former Vice President Joe Biden and is either tied with or just slightly ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)). Ocasio-Cortez did her townhall, and the subsequent Telemundo interview, mostly in Spanish.
Democrats and left-leaning political operatives have mentioned “adjusting” the Constitutional requirements for the office of the President before, in order to accommodate the slightly-too-young Ocasio-Cortez, but it’s unlikely such a major change would occur before November of 2020, allowing the young House member to run alongside Sanders.
Ocasio-Cortez aside, according to a few political experts Sanders may be closer to having a running mate than previously thought. Politico reported Thursday that Bernie’s “resilience” is winning him fans within the Democratic establishment, especially among those who want neither Biden nor Warren to lead the 2020 ticket.
“Democratic insiders said they are rethinking Sanders’ bid for a few reasons: First, Warren has recently fallen in national and early state surveys,” the outlet said. “Second, Sanders has withstood the ups and downs of the primary, including a heart attack. At the same time, other candidates with once-high expectations, such as Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke, have dropped out or languished in single digits in the polls.”
Biden is still leading the polls nationally and in most early primary states.