Ilhan Omar Says Joe Biden Is Not the Right Candidate to Deliver 'Progress' As Elizabeth Warren Pulls Ahead in Iowa Poll for First Time

The 2020 Democratic presidential race might include a "few people" who can bring about "the kind of progress that we all want to see in this country," but former Vice President Joe Biden is not one of them, Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar said on Saturday.

Speaking at the Iowa People's Presidential Forum over the weekend, Omar expressed hope that 2020 would bring about the inauguration of "a president who realizes we are not just fighting for one election—we are fighting for the very soul of our democracy and what society we want to become."

Asked whether Biden might have what it takes to lead that fight, Omar did not respond in the former vice president's favor, according to The Guardian.

"There are few people who fit into the kind of progress that we all want to see in this country," Omar said. "And I would say he is not one of them.

"I think it has been very clear to many of the people who have been creating the kind of movement that is exciting generations, that we want somebody who really has a plan that is going to tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have, and he doesn't," the Minnesota representative added.

Whether Biden is aware of Omar's reproval is unclear; the former vice president reportedly did not receive an invite to the event after failing to respond to a questionnaire.

Asked about the 2020 frontrunner's absence, former housing secretary and fellow Democratic hopeful Julián Castro told The Guardian: "I'll just say that if we're going to win this election in 2020, it's going to be because we excite people, and we can't excite them if we don't show up for them."

The reprimand came as Biden fell behind Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in the polls in Iowa for the very first time.

Over the weekend, the senator pulled ahead of the former VP by two percentage points, with 22 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers throwing their support behind her in a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll.

Meanwhile, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders fell further behind to 11 percent, with no other candidates in the race seeing double-digit support.

The Iowa Democratic caucuses represent the first nominating contest in the presidential primary process, with the 2020 Iowa Caucus set to take place on February 3.

Ilhan Omar
Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar speaks during a town hall hosted by the NAACP on September 11, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The congresswoman has said she does not believe former Vice President Joe Biden is the 2020 Democratic candidate to bring about the progress many want to see. Zach Gibson/Getty