Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) pushed back complaints from Democrats that sought to blame the progressive wing of the party and their policies for costing some House Democrats to lose reelection, saying her party can’t “allow Republican narratives to tear us apart.”
“If you look at some of these — some of the arguments that are being advanced, the defund the police hurt or that arguments about socialism hurt, not a single member of Congress that I’m aware of campaigned on socialism or defunding the police in this general election,” Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “And these were largely slogans or where they were demands from activist groups that we saw in the largest uprising in American history around police brutality.”
Ocasio-Cortez went on to put blame on Democratic operations for running campaigns “as though it’s 2005.”
“Our digital campaigning is very weak. And this is an area where Republicans are actually quite strong. President Trump, he won the 2016 election, as we know, largely on digital organizing and strategy,” the progressive congresswoman said. “And I believe that many Republicans were very effective at digital organizing and strategy as well, whereas the Democratic Party is still campaigning largely as though it’s 2005.”
“And I know a lot of us don’t want to hear this, but 2005 was 15 years ago. So we can do better. And then, when we really dig down and refine our operations, we can be more resilient to these strong Republican attacks,” she added.
In a leaked heated conference call, Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger on Thursday with fellow House Democrats blamed the progressive wing of her party for Democrat’s underperforming in some House races. She warned that Democrats must never use the words “socialist” or “socialism” again, saying that “we lost good members because of that” and predicted that Democrats will get “torn apart” during the next midterm elections in 2022.
CNN’s host Jake Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez is Rep. Spanberger “wrong” in her assessment. She fired back on House Democrats, saying they are being “irresponsible to pour gasoline” on existing tensions within the party while some of the House races have yet to be called.
“That being said, there are, at least in the House caucus, very deep divisions within the party. And I believe that we need to really come together and not allow Republican narratives to tear us apart,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “As you mentioned, we have a slimmer Democratic majority. It’s going to be more important than ever for us to work together, and not fight each other.”
“And so, when we kind of come out swinging not 48 hours after Tuesday, when we don’t even have solid data yet, pointing fingers and telling each other what to do, it deepens the division in the party. And it’s irresponsible, it’s irresponsible to pour gasoline on these already very delicate tensions in the party,” she continued. “And so the conversation is a little bit deeper than that, than just saying anything progressive is toxic and a losing message.”
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) in the same CNN program told Tapper that he blames the “Defund the police” slogan his party’s progressive wing has called for over the summer for some Democratic losses in Congress. AOC has been among one of those prominent progressivism calling for “defunding” of our police officers amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I came out very publicly and very forcibly against sloganeering,” Clyburn told Tapper. “I spoke about against the sloganeering. And I feel very strongly we can’t pick up these things just because it makes a good headline. It sometimes destroys headway. We need to work on what makes headway, rather than what makes headlines.”
Ocasio-Cortez says her plans the next two months that she is going to be doing everything that she can to make sure Democrats win the two Senate runoff races in Georgia so that Democrats will have a majority in the Senate and won’t have to “negotiate” with Republicans.
“Well, I’m going to be spending my next couple of months doing everything that I can to extend help and offer support to make sure that we don’t have a Republican Senate majority, that we win these races in Georgia, that we secure a Democratic Senate majority, so that we don’t have to negotiate in that way,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And so these Senate runoff races, they’re on January 5, I believe. And it’s — that is right around the time that we will be preparing to swear in now president-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris. And I think it’s really important that we all work very hard to give them a Democratic Senate as well.”