House

Ocasio-Cortez on 2020: ‘I don’t want to be placated as a progressive’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a freshman progressive congresswoman, on Thursday said she doesn’t know yet who she’ll back for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

She said she’s watching to see the candidates act on progressive goals.

“I think that we need commitments with teeth, so I don’t want to be placated as a progressive, and I now the progressive movement does not want to be placated in 2020,” she said Thursday on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily.”

{mosads}“I want a 2020 candidate that says we can do these things, we can be audacious.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who won her seat in Congress by winning a primary against House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) last year, outlined a number of issues that could be sticking points for the progressive wing of the party. 

“I think that it’s really about the comprehensive understanding of this moment that we’re in right now as a country and our ability to articulate it. So I don’t think a 2020 nominee can afford to be bad on issues of race, I don’t think they can afford to be bad on issues of economic justice either,” she said.

“When we talk about things like the role of the labor movement, the role of labor in the working conditions of everyday Americans. When we talk about fighting doggedly for workers, whether it’s wages, whether it’s union jobs, whether it’s good jobs, I think that is what we’re really talking about in fighting for economic justice.” 

Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, also mentioned health care, rejecting ideas from potential 2020 contenders Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to put Medicare for All on hold and instead bring the age for Medicare down to 50 or 55. 

“For me, I reject that outright. I reject the rationale. I reject the rationale of saying ‘adopting the same insurance models or a similar insurance model to any other developed country in America is unrealistic,’ I reject that. I reject the idea that single payer is impossible, I reject the idea that universal healthcare is impossible. All of these things are possible,” the New York Democrat said.

Several of the high profile Democrats already running in 2020, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), will have to grapple with progressive ideas within the party. 

Some of Ocasio-Cortez’s most ardent supporters have floated her as a presidential candidate, though at 29 she would not be old enough to run for the White House until 2024.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Amy Klobuchar Cory Booker Elizabeth Warren Joe Crowley Kirsten Gillibrand Sherrod Brown

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