The 28-year-old Democratic Socialist who ousted a 10-term incumbent in New York has a message for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and others in the party.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district on Tuesday, said she is part of a bottom-up movement in the nation, and the elder lawmakers like Pelosi need to pay attention.
Ocasio-Cortez reacted to Pelosi’s dismissal of her stunning win as just “a choice in one district” during an interview on CNN’s “Out Front with Erin Burnett” Wednesday.
“They made a choice in one district,” Pelosi told reporters at a press conference Wednesday, pushing back on the idea that the win by the former bartender and member of Bernie’s Army of socialist supporters, is a bellwether.
“So, let’s not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics and this or that within the caucus or outside the caucus,” the California Democrat said. “We have an array of genders, generations, geography and the rest, opinion, in our caucus and we’re very proud of that.”
Burnett asked Ocasio-Cortez for her reaction to the video clip of Pelosi’s remarks.
“I think that we’re in the middle of a movement in this country,” Ocasio-Cortez replied. “I feel this movement, but that movement is going to happen from the bottom up. That movement is going to come from voters.”
“There are a lot of really exciting races with extremely similar dynamics as mine,” she added. “It’s not just one district. You look at Ayanna Pressley out in Massachusetts. Same exact situation.”
The CNN host questioned whether it is “time for new blood” in the Democratic Party, noting leaders like 78-year-old Pelosi, 79-year-old Steny Hoyer, and 77-year-old Jim Clyburn. And Crowley, at 56 and the fourth ranked Democrat in the House, was considered a possible replacement for Pelosi as House Minority Leader .
“I do think that we do need to elect a generation of new people to Congress in both parties,” Ocasio-Cortez replied. “You know I think that some of the issues we even have today may have to do with some of the calcified structures and relationships. And you know, in certain seats where it’s appropriate, I think that a new leaf could actually mean a lot of opportunity for the party and future.”
She also believes there needs to be “a diversity of age” in Congress.
President Trump celebrated the news of Crowley’s defeat Tuesday, noting that Democrats are “in turmoil” following the upset.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 27, 2018
“That is a big one that nobody saw happening,” Trump tweeted about the defeat of the New York imcumbent and staunch anti-Trumper. “Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!”
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