Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat from New York, defended herself in a new interview against criticism directed against her left-wing coalition, while saying that she remained uncertain about her political future.
Ocastio-Cortez, who calls herself a Democratic Socialist, has been in conflict with the moderates in her party since her victory over former Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley in the 2018 primaries. Although she supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primaries against Biden, she and other progressive Democrats rallied support for President-elect Joe Biden when he ran against President Donald Trump.
In a new interview published in the New York Times on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez argued that her progressive colleagues’ campaign had helped Biden win the election.
“I have been begging the party for two years to let me help them. That’s the damn point. I have tried to help. Before the election, I offered each and every Swing district democrat to help them with their operation. And every single one of them, except for five, refused my help. And all five of the endangered or swing district people that I helped to secure victory, or who are on the road to victory,” said the congresswoman.
“And every one of those who refused my help is losing. And now they are blaming us for their loss,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Times. “That is why my colleagues must understand that we are not the enemy. And that their base is not the enemy. That the Black Life Movement is not the enemy, that Medicare is not the enemy for anyone.
The Democrats won the presidency and got at least one additional seat in the Senate, but the Republicans managed to get several seats in the House of Representatives. The Democrats, however, retained their majority in the House of Representatives.
Ocasio-Cortez referred to the grassroots campaign of progressive representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan in her most important state and the efforts of activists in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania-and said that these actions seemed to be the key to Biden’s victory in the electoral college. She expressed concern over comments by some Republican and moderate supporters of Biden about how the president-elect should act once he enters the White House.
“These transitional appointments, they send a signal. They tell a story about who the government owes this victory to. And so it’s going to be really hard after young migrant activists have helped potentially save Arizona and Nevada. It’s going to be really hard after Detroit and Rashida Tlaib have pushed up the numbers in their district,” Ocasio-Cortez stressed.
“If the party believes, after 94 percent went from Detroit to Biden, after the black organizers just doubled and tripled the turnout in Georgia, after so many people organized Philadelphia, is the Democratic Party’s signal that the John Kasichs won us this election? I mean, I can’t even describe how dangerous that is,” she said. Kasich, a Republican, served as governor of Ohio from 2011 to 2019. He endorsed Biden, but his state chose Trump.
Washington Newsday turned to the press to ask Biden to comment on Ocasio-Cortez’s statements, but they did not respond immediately. In a victory speech on Saturday night, after the Associated Press and networks had officially declared the race, Biden expressed his plan to become unifying president.
“I owe everything to my campaign team and all the volunteers, all those who gave so much of themselves to make this moment possible. And to all those who have supported us: I am proud of the campaign that we have built and run. I am proud of the coalition we have formed, the broadest and most diverse in history,” said Biden.
“Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Progressive, moderate and conservative. Young and old. Urban, suburban and rural. Homosexual, heterosexual, transsexual. Whites. Latino. Asian. Native American,” said the President-Elect.
Ocasio-Cortez has been targeting criticism from moderates and Republican Biden supporters on Twitter for the past 24 hours. “John Kasich, who didn’t deliver Ohio to Dems, says people like @IlhanMN, who delivered Minnesota, are the problem,” she twittered on Saturday. “Please do not take these people seriously and celebrate