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'Squad' member Rashida Tlaib refuses to say whether she'll vote for Biden during cease-fire presser

Democratic "Squad" member Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., would not say if she is voting for President Biden in November given the ongoing conflict in Gaza where Israel is trying to invade Rafah.

Democratic "Squad" member Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., has refused to say if she will vote for President Biden this November despite saying that a Donald Trump presidency would be a threat to democracy.

Tlaib dismissed a reporter’s question at the end of a press conference outside the Capitol on Thursday when she led a group of Democrats calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.

"Will you vote for President Biden in November?" the reporter asked.

"Thank you very much, y'all. Thank you," said Tlaib, who then stepped back from the podium and walked away with her fellow lawmakers.


Tlaib, who called for an immediate meeting with Biden regarding Gaza, suggested that people use their vote to back candidates who support issues, such as a cease-fire, and to not necessarily focus on the presidential election.

"I want you to exercise your right to vote… but also think of the whole ballot," said Tlaib, who did not mention party affiliation. 

"Everybody's always driven by what's on top of the ballot and there's so many folks on that ballot, many of which support a cease-fire. Folks that have been working on rents too damn high in Michigan, making water human right in Michigan and all of those things. To think of that ballot as a way to speak that truth of what you believe in and not always think about that top of that ticket."

"Why not use and create a voting bloc and speaking what your truth is and speaking about what you believe in."


Tlaib refused to back Biden despite giving a stark warning of the potential effects of a second Trump presidency. She inferred that Biden may lose support given his handling of the conflict. 

"I am incredibly scared of a second term of Trump, and I think it’s really important to emphasize this," Tlaib said.

"Right now our democracy is at stake, and I’m asking the president and I think many of us are saying, change course because you are threatening, literally, our democracy."

Tlaib was joined at the press conference by fellow "Squad" members Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., as well as other lawmakers. 

They called for an immediate cease-fire and said that the majority of Americans support their calls. They blasted the Israeli government for its offenses in the city of Rafah, which borders Egypt at the southern end of the Gaza Strip. More than half of Gaza's estimated 2.3 million population is now packed into the city. A large portion of the current population has fled into the city from other parts of Gaza.

"In Michigan, 53% of our residents in Michigan support a cease-fire. 74% of them are Michigan Democrats and 64% of them are independents, all again supporting a cease-fire. People all around the world from all different backgrounds, faiths, ethnicities," Tlaib said. 

Bush said that they are sending a letter to Biden asking for a meeting about a potential cease-fire. 

"We want to hear directly from President Biden," Bush said. 

"We, the United States, have a moral obligation to use our immense power to stop the Israeli government's plans to invade Rafah."

"It is where 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are trapped. And though it was referred to as this safe zone, we know that it is not really safe. There aren't enough places to sleep and families are sleeping in chicken coops or sheltering wherever they can find a place."

On Tuesday, President Biden said that Israel had agreed to a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, but Hamas is not prepared to call a truce.

He suggested that a cease-fire during Ramadan would give the U.S. time to secure the release of American hostages still held by Hamas. However, officials from the terrorist group called his comments premature as it studies the cease-fire agreement. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel will carry out an invasion of Rafah, regardless of whether it reaches a hostage exchange agreement with Hamas.

Netanyahu stated that Israel was still engaged in hostage negotiations, but he added that the Jewish state was committed to rooting out Hamas with as little harm to civilians as possible.

"If we have a deal, it will be delayed somewhat, but it will happen. If we don't have a deal, we'll do it anyway," Netanyahu said of the Rafah operation.

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