New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took issue with intraparty criticism aimed at progressives, arguing that the Democratic Party underperformed in the election because candidates made themselves “sitting ducks,” The New York Times reports.
Some Democrats criticized the progressive wing of the party after more than a half-dozen House Democrats lost their elections despite Joe Biden’s win last week. Ocasio-Cortez rejected the criticism.
“Every single candidate that co-sponsored Medicare for All in a swing district kept their seat. We also know that co-sponsoring the Green New Deal was not a sinker. Mike Levin was an original co-sponsor of the legislation, and he kept his seat,” she told the Times.
“Before we even had any data yet in a lot of these races, there was already finger-pointing that this was progressives’ fault and that this was the fault of the Movement for Black Lives,” she added, noting that Democrats should be “honest” about why they lost certain races.
She said Democrats have “extreme vulnerabilities” in how they run their campaign.
“Some of this is criminal. It’s malpractice,” she said. “I’ve looked through a lot of these campaigns that lost, and the fact of the matter is if you’re not spending $200,000 on Facebook with fund-raising, persuasion, volunteer recruitment, get-out-the-vote the week before the election, you are not firing on all cylinders. And not a single one of these campaigns were firing on all cylinders.”
AOC blames Democrats' strategy on race:
Ocasio-Cortez said she was surprised by the “share of white support” for Trump, which she said shows the “need to do a lot of anti-racist, deep canvassing in this country.”
“But the problem is that right now, I think a lot of Dem strategy is to avoid actually working through this. Just trying to avoid poking the bear,” she said. “That’s their argument with defunding police, right? To not agitate racial resentment. I don’t think that is sustainable.”
“I’ve been begging the party to let me help them for two years. That’s also the damn thing of it,” she added. “I’ve been trying to help. Before the election, I offered to help every single swing district Democrat with their operation. And every single one of them, but five, refused my help. And all five of the vulnerable or swing district people that I helped secured victory or are on a path to secure victory. And every single one that rejected my help is losing. And now they’re blaming us for their loss.”
AOC says she may quit over infighting:
Ocasio-Cortez said there were roughly even odds on whether she would pursue higher office or quit politics.
“I genuinely don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year,” she said.
“It’s the incoming. It’s the stress. It’s the violence. It’s the lack of support from your own party. It’s your own party thinking you’re the enemy. When your own colleagues talk anonymously in the press and then turn around and say you’re bad because you actually append your name to your opinion,” she explained. “I’m serious when I tell people the odds of me running for higher office and the odds of me just going off trying to start a homestead somewhere — they’re probably the same.”