Former President Barack Obama on Monday endorsed dozens of Democrats in races across the country, including liberal darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her New York House race.
Obama had left Ocasio-Cortez off his initial round of 81 endorsements over the summer, prompting speculation over why the ex-president had seemingly snubbed the Democratic socialist candidate who defeated House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., in the primary and whose big-government views align with those of Sen. Bernie Sanders. However, on Monday, Obama included her name on the list of 260 endorsed candidates for governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House and state legislatures.
“The Democratic Party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we lead with conviction, principle, and bold, new ideas,” Obama said in a statement. “Our incredible array of candidates up and down the ticket, all across the country, make up a movement of citizens who are younger, more diverse, more female than ever before.”
This time around, Obama seemed to snub Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate running against Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for his Senate seat, and Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for attorney general of Minnesota. Ellison is currently facing allegations of domestic abuse, which he denies.
As for the endorsements Obama did make, Republicans countered that they would do more harm than good.
“President Obama oversaw the slowest economic recovery in modern history and it cost Democrats more than 1,000 seats," Republican National Committee Spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a statement to Fox News. "By tying these candidates to his failed economic policies, he’s helping ensure they suffer the same fate.”
Among his endorsements, Obama named several former campaign and Obama administration alumni who “have been inspired to run for office,” as well as many state legislative candidates that are “redistricting priorities.”
Obama offered his support to several Democratic gubernatorial candidates—like Florida’s Andrew Gillum, who is running against Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis; Connecticut’s Ned Lamont, running against Republican Bob Stefanowksi; and Massachusetts’ Jay Gonzalez, up against incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, among others.
“They’re Americans who aren’t just running against something, but for something,” Obama said of the candidates he endorsed. “They’re running to expand opportunity and restore the honor and compassion that should be the essence of public service.”
“I am proud to endorse so many of them today, and I’m eager to continue making the case for why they deserve our votes this November,” Obama added.
Thus far, Obama has campaigned for candidates in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and has held fundraisers for campaign committees and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, as well as individual candidates.