Tlaib calls for Michigan residents to vote 'uncommitted' in upcoming Democratic primary

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on Saturday called on Michigan residents to vote “uncommitted” in the upcoming Democratic primary.

Tlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress, mentioned her dissatisfaction with the way the Biden administration is playing a part in the Israel-Hamas war as the reason she is urging  Dearborn, Mich., Democrats to vote “uncommitted” in the Feb. 27 primary instead of backing Biden. 

“If you want us to be louder, then come here and vote uncommitted,” Tlaib said in a video posted by the Listen to Michigan campaign on Saturday. The group hopes to pressure the administration into reshaping its approach to the war in Gaza. Tlaib is one of the group’s most prominent backers.

“This is the way you can raise our voices, to make us even more visible,” Tlaib said. “Right now, we feel completely neglected — neglected and just unseen by our government.” 

Tlaib joins progressive activists in Michigan who have been critical of Biden and his approach to foreign policy. Tlaib has called for a cease-fire in Gaza and has been critical of the administration since the war started in October. She was censured in November for her criticism of Israel and the use of the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which has been condemned by Jewish groups as antisemitic. 

Muslim and Arab American activists leading the effort in the Listen to Michigan campaign want to show the Biden campaign that their lack of support for the president in the upcoming election could cost him the state that he won by three points in 2020. Michigan is expected to be a battleground in November. 

“Something that is a bullhorn to say enough is enough,” Tlaib said. “We don’t want a country that supports wars and bombs and destruction. We want to support life. We want to stand up for every single life killed in Gaza.” 

Top White House officials traveled to Michigan this month to speak with community leaders in Michigan amid their anger at the way the administration has handled the ongoing war. Earlier in February, Biden went to Michigan himself, but the intention was to meet with autoworkers and Black community leaders, right before he secured the endorsement of United Auto Workers (UAW).

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