Ocasio-Cortez: Democrats feared they’d lose their jobs if they backed me

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Friday that many Democrats wouldn’t support her in her primary bid against Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) out of fear they’d upset the “party apparatus” and lose their jobs. 

“I can’t tell you how many times I would talk to people. People were afraid to even take pictures with me in public because of what that could mean,” Ocasio-Cortez, who scored a major upset over Crowley in a New York primary this week, said on ABC’s “The View.”

{mosads}Crowley, 56, the fourth-ranking House Democrat, hadn’t faced a primary challenger in 14 years and had been considered a potential candidate to become a future Speaker before his loss on Tuesday to Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a former organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign.

Ocasio-Cortez said Friday that people were scared to challenge the “machine, because then my job’s going to be at risk.” 

“There were so many people behind closed doors that said, ‘I want to support you. I believe you are what’s best, but I can’t because my job will be at risk,'” said Ocasio-Cortez.

A self-described democratic socialist, she is expected to win the general election this fall against her GOP opponent in a deep blue district.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has pushed back against the idea of Ocasio-Cortez’s win meaning something larger amid rumblings of younger, more progressive candidates potentially stepping up to run for Democratic leadership spots.

“They made a choice in one district. So let’s not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics and the rest of that,” Pelosi said on Wednesday. 

Tags Bernie Sanders Nancy Pelosi

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video