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Tlaib declines to say whether she’ll back Biden in November, encourages look at ‘whole ballot’

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib urged Michigan voters to look at the “whole ballot” in November rather than stay home in protest of President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war while declining to say if she would back the president in the general election.

“Don’t stay home,” she said when asked whether voters who cast “uncommitted” protest ballots should sit out the November elections. “One thing that I know about staying home is you’re making us more invisible. I want you to exercise your right to vote, I really mean this. But also think of the whole ballot.”

She encouraged voters to consider other pro-cease-fire candidates on the ballot or other important local issues “and not always think about that top of that ticket.”

Asked if she’d be voting for Biden in November, the member of the progressive “squad” did not respond. Tlaib did not endorse Biden in the 2020 elections, though she campaigned against Donald Trump.

Tlaib, who backed the “uncommitted” campaign, has been openly critical of the president as she presses the White House to call for a Gaza cease-fire. More than 100,000 Michigan voters opted to vote “uncommitted” in the state’s primary earlier this week, sparking jitters among some Democrats about Biden’s chances in the crucial swing state.

Tlaib had also declined to call for similar protest votes in other states, telling reporters: “We’re not going to go into the backyards of other states and tell them what to do. I think what is so beautiful about our country is every community is different. “