Although he is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, not every elected official in Joe Biden’s party is committed to endorsing him just yet.
As The Hill reported, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said she is more focused on her own re-election campaign than making her support for Biden official.
“Hasn’t directly called me”
Of course, Biden has the backing of the overwhelming majority within his party. Tlaib, who represents an emerging far-left faction of elected Democrats, clarified her position during a recent Newsweek interview.
In response to a question about her apparent reluctance to back President Donald Trump’s presumed rival in the presidential race, she confirmed that Biden had not specifically sought an endorsement from her.
“He hasn’t directly called me or anything, but no, right now I’m focused on my election, my constituents, and my residents,” she said.
Despite the absence of a clear endorsement, however, Tlaib made it clear that she wants to see Trump voted out of office on Election Day and stressed her commitment to making sure that happens.
“One thing that I know is I’m going to be really focused on turnout in the fall,” she said. “When I focus on turnout, we will deliver Michigan to Joe Biden.”
Tlaib noted that Trump won in 2016 thanks in large part to a razor-thin margin in her state.
“What I need you to do”
“When I turn out my folks and my district, we’ll be able to take back the state,” she predicted. “When you focus primarily on getting people out to vote in a district like mine, [Biden] wins.”
According to Tlaib, Biden’s victory does not depend on her endorsement, and she has avoided making it official because she wants to avoid getting “into a debate” with her constituents.
“Residents come up to me and say, ‘Rashida, I don’t know. I hear Joe Biden this, Joe Biden that,'” she said. “I say, ‘Listen, do we need another four years of Trump? No. Then what I need you to do is go out there and focus on that.'”
Earlier this year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made a similar statement of support for Biden’s candidacy while notably stopping short of issuing an endorsement.
Such tepid praise from the next generation of Democratic Party leaders seems to exemplify a longstanding problem for the Biden campaign: a lack of enthusiasm.