Minnesota representative and progressive “Squad” member Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has announced that she plans to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden despite the fact that she believes Tara Reade, a former Biden who accused the former Senator of sexually assaulting her back in the ’90s.
“Believing survivors is consistent with my values,” Rep. Omar said in a tweet defending her stance. “With that said, in this interview I did on 6 May, we talked about that and quotes aren’t always in context. I will vote for him and help him defeat Trump.”
“This is the most important election cycle of our lifetimes and we aren’t going to have a chance if we don’t spend our energy in mobilizing and building enthusiasm against Trump,” she went on. “That’s the goal we should all be united on.”
We can’t fend off perceived attacks with attacks on others. This is the most important election cycle of our lifetimes and we aren’t going to have a chance if we don’t spend our energy in mobilizing and building enthusiasm against Trump. That’s the goal we should all be united on
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 25, 2020
Rep. Omar’s announcement served as a response to criticism lobbed at her over an interview with The Sunday Times earlier this month.
Although Rep. Omar says in her tweet that “quotes [from the interview] aren’t always in context,” The Sunday Times Washington bureau chief Josh Glancy told The Independent that nothing in her quotes had been taken even remotely out of context.
“But luckily this was all on the record,” Glancy said. “Take a look and judge for yourself.”
When asked in the interview if she believed Tara Reade, Rep. Omar’s response was: “There’s a lot of unsavory stuff. It is troubling, I do believe Tara Reade, I believe it’s important for us to give space for women to come forward and share their stories. It takes years and years for sexual assault survivors to come forward. Justice can be delayed but it should never be denied.”
When asked if that meant Biden should not be the Democratic candidate, Rep. Omar said, “If considerations [over the candidate] were something I had influence over, just candidly here, we’d probably have a different candidate.”
Rep. Omar is just one of a slew of high-profile Democrats to throw their support behind Biden for the sole purpose of defeating Trump in spite of their desire to “believe” Reade.
“I would vote for Joe Biden even if I believed Reade’s account,” said feminist author and The Nation columnist Katha Pollitt. “Fortunately, I don’t have to sacrifice morality to political necessity.”
“I would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them,” Pollitt declared. “He wasn’t my candidate, but taking back the White House is that important.”
For his part, Biden has loosened up somewhat on addressing Reade’s accusations. After breaking his silence on the matter earlier this month to vehemently deny her claims, Biden recently told MSNBC that if Democrats believe Reade, “they probably shouldn’t vote for me”.
The presumptive nominee added, “I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade.”
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