Progressive 'Squad' Rep. Jamaal Bowman disses Hillary Clinton endorsement of primary challenger as unimportant

 June 15, 2024

Failed 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was once the unrivaled standard-bearer of her party, but that status has been greatly diminished over the past eight years following her loss to former President Donald Trump, particularly among the party's far-left progressive wing.

Thus, when Clinton recently endorsed a moderate Democratic primary challenger against leftist "Squad" member Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), the progressive incumbent dismissed the endorsement as minor and unimportant to his district's voters, according to Fox News.

The dismissive pushback from Bowman, which likely caught Clinton by surprise, suggests that the influence on Democratic internal affairs exerted by the party's former leader and her once-coveted endorsement is no longer effective or as big of a deal as it once was.

Clinton issues primary contest endorsement

On Wednesday, former Sec. of State Clinton announced that she was supporting the congressional campaign of Westchester County Executive George Latimer in his upcoming New York Democratic primary contest against two-term incumbent "Squad" member Rep. Bowman.

"With Trump on the ballot, we need strong, principled Democrats in Congress more than ever," Clinton wrote in an X post. "In Congress, @LatimerforNY will protect abortion rights, stand up to the NRA, and fight for President Biden’s agenda -- just like he’s always done. Make a plan to vote by June 25th!"

Politico reported that in response to the endorsement from Clinton, Latimer said in a statement, "Her voice gives even more momentum to our grassroots campaign, which keeps gaining strength because we stand strongly and honestly for our values and for our belief in delivering meaningful results for the communities we serve."

"Wouldn't call that a major endorsement"

During a Thursday night appearance on CNN, however, Bowman downplayed the significance of Clinton's expressed support for his primary opponent and told host Laura Coates, "I definitely wouldn‘t call that a major endorsement, with all due respect."

"We are endorsed by sitting U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA), sitting U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), and the minority leader of the Democratic Party, Hakeem Jeffries, (D-NY)," Bowman said to tout the endorsements he has received, as well as from his fellow far-left "Squad"-mates and progressive organizations like Planned Parenthood and a local chapter of the SEIU labor union, among others.

"I love our endorsements and they’re going to help us win this race," the congressman added before changing the subject to the current Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza and attacking Clinton and Latimer over their stated support for Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while he has been decidedly anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian.

Charges of racism on both sides

A separate report from Politico on Wednesday documented how bitter the Democratic primary contest for New York's 16th Congressional District has become with both Rep. Bowman, who is black, and County Executive Latimer, who is white, accusing each other of racism.

In an interview with the outlet, Bowman said of Latimer, "He’s in the pocket of Republican billionaires who want to take our voting rights, our reproductive rights, affirmative action and who are racist," and added, "And he also is not just anti-Black racist, he’s anti-Muslim racist."

Later that same day, during a televised debate, Latimer accused Bowman of neglecting the district's White and Asian constituents as he said, "You don’t mention people who are not Black or brown. There’s a whole district, Jamaal, that you’ve ignored and the district knows you’ve ignored it."

Bowman also asserted that Latimer hated impoverished Black people and supported the ideals underlying slavery and Jim Crow laws, by way of Latimer's housing and tax policies, while Latimer's supporters have rhetorically attacked Bowman online as a "bully" and a "thug."

Politico noted that early voting has already begun for the June 25 primary election and the "vulnerable" incumbent Bowman was facing "increasingly uncertain," if not "grim" chances of being re-elected to a third term in Congress.

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