Ilhan Omar: ‘I Don’t Know’ If Any 2020 Democratic Candidate Can Beat Trump ‘Yet’

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
July 3, 2019 Updated: July 3, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) expressed on July 3 that she is unsure whether any of the Democratic presidential candidates have the ability to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

Omar made her remarks during an appearance on BET Digital’s #BlackCoffeeLive. She was asked by one of the show’s hosts, Marc Lamont Hill, whether she had thought about endorsing any of the candidates yet.

“You mentioned Cory Book and Kamala Harris with regard to a bill. You did something with Bernie Sanders. You may not know this, but they’re all running for president. Where are you leaning these days? Have you thought about endorsing?” Hill asked the freshman congresswoman.

“I have not and I don’t intend on making an endorsement anytime soon. I think it’s a little too early,” she replied. “There is lots of important conversations that need to be had about particular policies. Everybody has ideas that are closely aligned and so it’s within the details often that you get to pick your candidate.”

Omar continued, “As a policy nerd, those kind of things really matter to me. I also think there is this question of how do we defeat the occupant of the White House? What does that process really look like? How do we not only energize our base, but also get to the soul of our country and reclaim it?”

“I don’t know if we have gotten that candidate yet,” she added.

Democratic Presidential Debate

The candidates recently participated in the first Democratic presidential primary debate on June 26 and 27. During the second night of the debate, which featured front-runners former vice president Joe Biden and Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), all 10 candidates agreed that their government healthcare plans would cover illegal aliens.

Epoch Times Photo
The second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, on June 27, 2019. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)

Their response prompted a reaction from Trump, who was watching portions of the debate when he was at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

“All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!” Trump said in a tweet on June 27, during the debate.

In another question, the candidates were asked whether—if elected—if they would decriminalize illegal border crossings. All but one candidate raised their hands. The nearly uniform responses to the two questions is an indication of where the Democratic party now stands on the issue of illegal immigration.

Meanwhile, Sanders took the opportunity during the debate to offer his idea for the Supreme Court, which was met with criticism from people on social media. Sanders said he could rotate the high court justices and replace them with others that would align with his own values.

“I do not believe in packing the court,” Sanders during the debate.

Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Kamala Harris (R) (D-CA) and former Vice President Joe Biden (L) speak as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) looks on during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami, Florida on June 27, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“We’ve got a terrible 5-4 majority conservative court right now. But I do believe constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to other courts and that brings in new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority, I hope, that will understand that a woman has a right to control her own body and that corporations cannot run the United States of America.”

Sanders was likely referring to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion and the 2010 Citizen’s United v. FEC decision, which found the federal government could not restrict corporations, associations, and labor unions from spending money on political ads.

After the debate, Kayleigh McEnany, the National Press Secretary for the Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, commented on the progressive agendas of all the candidates.

“All of the Democrats tripped over each other in a race to see who could stand out as the most leftist candidate, threatening government control of every aspect of people’s lives,” McEnany wrote in the statement.

“We are many months away from seeing who the Democrat nominee will be, but one thing is clear—President Donald Trump will be the hands-down victor after each and every Democrat debate.”

Trump also weighed in on Biden and Sanders’ performance during the debate, saying “I am in Japan at the G-20, representing our Country well, but I heard it was not a good day for Sleepy Joe or Crazy Bernie. One is exhausted, the other is nuts – so what’s the big deal?”

Biden holds a lead over the rest of the Democratic field based on an average of polls maintained by Real Clear Politics. Meanwhile, Sanders and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) are trailing behind with around half the support.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.