Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

CNN host John King asked whether endorsements from Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are "too urban" to help Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary. (Photo: CNN/Screengrab)

CNN Host Faces Backlash for Pondering Whether Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar Endorsements Are 'Too Urban' to Help Sanders

"Campaign just went from too white to too urban. That's U R B A N for those who couldn't hear the whistle from the back."

Jake Johnson

CNN anchor John King faced swift backlash Tuesday night for pondering on national television whether endorsements from progressive Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are "too far-left," "too urban," and "too internet" to help Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

"They are more of the younger, fresher face. More aggressive, more liberal. Less compromising. Less talk about working with Republicans," King said of the congresswomen during a CNN panel discussion following Tuesday evening's presidential debate in Ohio.

Critics were quick to slam King's "too urban" line as a racist dog whistle and his "too internet" line as a sign of how out of touch CNN analysts are with the American public.

"Shame on you for this bigotry," tweeted Sanders backer Shaun King.

Others piled on, highlighting the dramatic shift from the common and false criticism of Sanders' support as "too white":

In response to King, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir tweeted: "'Is this too far left? Is this too uncompromising? Is it too urban? Is it too internet? Does the Democratic Party need to find a broader audience?' No. No. Uh, No. No. And finally, No. Thanks for asking."

As Common Dreams reported Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez is expected to endorse Sanders for president and appear at a rally with the senator in New York City on Saturday. Tlaib is also expected to endorse Sanders, and Omar publicly endorsed the senator late Tuesday.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, Omar said she is "proud to endorse Sen. Sanders for president."

"Glad that AOC and Rashida Tlaib are on board too," said Omar. "It's time."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

UN Chief Urges Global Solidarity on Covid, Climate, and Debt Relief

"The last two years have demonstrated a simple but brutal truth, if we leave anyone behind, in the end, we leave everyone behind," said the secretary-general at the opening of the virtual Davos summit.

Jessica Corbett ·


Sinema's MLK Day Tweet Sparks Online Fury

One group criticized the Democratic senator from Arizona as "the white moderate MLK warned us about."

Andrea Germanos ·


Why Did Democratic AG Kill Flint Water RICO Case?

"Political corruption poisoned Flint and political corruption shielded the wrongdoers from accountability," said one critic following new revelations.

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressives Counter Cherry-Picked Quotes With MLK's True Legacy

Calling out those who have "weaponized" his words "to justify legislated white supremacy," Rep. Ayanna Pressley said King "was a radical dreamer with a bold vision for revolutionary change."

Jessica Corbett ·


'No Celebration Without Legislation': King Family Leads Voting Rights March

"I will not accept empty promises in pursuit of my father's dream," said Martin Luther King III.

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo