'Squad' Member Tlaib Won't Endorse Biden

'I don't want to get into a debate with my residents'

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) / Getty Images
July 27, 2020

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) said she will not endorse presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden because she does not want to argue with her constituents.

"I don't want to get into a debate with my residents," she told Newsweek. "Residents come up to me and say, 'Rashida, I don't know. I hear Joe Biden this, Joe Biden that.' 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.' If the ultimate goal is to get rid of Donald Trump, that doesn't have to involve me actually endorsing Biden."

Tlaib has often been a thorn in the side of establishment Democrats. Tlaib supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) in the Democratic primary, along with fellow members of the far-left "squad" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.). While she has not endorsed Biden, Tlaib said she would focus on turning out the vote for him in Michigan, which Trump narrowly won in 2016.

She said her residents would be "inspired" by an opportunity to vote against Trump, not for Biden.

"My constituents don't need to be bogged down in, 'Is [Biden] the best candidate?' That's not what you have to convince my residents," she said. "They need to come out in droves and be inspired by something. And that is going to be a vote against Donald Trump."

Tlaib is locked in a primary battle with Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones, but Tlaib said she expects to win her seat again in her latest interview.

"I don't have to have a campaign plan for November because I have a safe Democratic seat, but I'm going to [campaign]," she said. "Why? Because my residents cannot afford another four years of Trump. They just can't."