Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) said he would give Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) a "very important" role in his administration if he is elected in 2020, according to the New York Post.
Ocasio-Cortez worked as an organizer with Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign and has endorsed him for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Both politicians identify as democratic socialists.
"She is, again, at the end of one year, she is a leader in the United States Congress and her ideas are resonating all over this country," Sanders said. "If I am in the White House, she will play a very, very important role, no question."
Sanders pointed to the outsized influence Ocasio-Cortez has had on national politics since her unlikely path to Congress in 2018, when she defeated former Rep. Joe Crowley, a then-highly-ranked congressman, in the Democratic primary.
"Look, I have said this before, let me say it again — and I don't want you to hear this, because your head will explode," Sanders said during a joint interview with Ocasio-Cortez. "I don't know of any person — I've been in Congress for a few years — who in the course of less than one year — she's been in office less than one year — who has had more of an impact on American politics as a freshman member of Congress than she has."
Sanders has also received endorsements from Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), the fourth member of the so-called "squad" of progressive congresswomen, has endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).
Depending on the poll, Sanders is either second or third nationally in the Democratic presidential primary alongside Warren. Former Vice President Joe Biden still maintains a solid lead in the primary nationally, despite some potential weaknesses in early primary states.