House minority leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday tried to quash suggestions that 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary upset over veteran New York representative Joe Crowley means democratic socialism is taking over the Democratic party.
“No, they’re not,” Pelosi said when asked whether the GOP is right to warn that the upset shows Democrats are headed further to the left.
Pelosi said the 14th Congressional District may be headed toward democratic socialism, but the party as a whole is not.
“It’s ascended in that district, perhaps, but I don’t accept any characterization of our party presented by the Republicans, so let me reject that right now.”
Ocasio-Cortez is a former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer and member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Her defeat of ten-term incumbent Crowley, who had been discussed as a possible successor to Pelosi atop the House Democratic conference, sent shockwaves through the party and caused a scramble among party leaders.
“Our party is a big tent. Our districts are very different one from the other,” Pelosi said. “It’s a sign of vitality in our party. We’re not a rubber stamp.”
“I want to congratulate Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on her victory tonight,” the defeated Crowley said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting her and all Democrats this November. The Trump administration is a threat to everything we stand for here in Queens and the Bronx, and if we don’t win back the House this November, we will lose the nation we love.”