2020 hopeful Delaney fires back at Ocasio-Cortez after health care slam

Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyKrystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates 2020 Democrats thank Harris for friendship, candidacy after senator drops out Democrats take in lobbying industry cash despite pledges MORE (D-Md.) fired back at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez on food assistance cuts: 'If this happened then, we might've just starved' Youth climate activists grade top 2020 Democrats on Green New Deal commitment Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa MORE (D-N.Y.), saying her comments could lead to “a second term for Donald Trump” while challenging her to a debate after the freshman congresswoman called for the 2020 presidential hopeful to “please sashay away” from the Democratic primary.

Ocasio-Cortez's criticism of Delaney followed his remarks Sunday at the California Democratic Convention in which he said "Medicare for All" is “actually not good policy nor is it good politics.” 

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The fiery freshman New York lawmaker was not the only Democrat critical of Delaney's take — he was loudly booed by the California crowd. 

Delaney's press secretary, Michael Starr Hopkins, released a statement on Monday saying that Ocasio-Cortez's comments only help President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE move toward reelection in 2020.

“The only person Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez helped with her tweet about Congressman Delaney was Donald Trump,” Hopkins's statement reads. “If Democrats are serious about beating the President at the ballot box, we need less political grandstanding and more truth-telling from the Bernie wing of the party.

“2016 should have taught us that if we allow this primary to become a popularity contest on Twitter rather than a debate of ideas in the public square, the country will lose. We’ve seen this playbook before and it ends with a second term for Donald Trump.”

Delaney on Sunday responded to Ocasio-Cortez's comments by requesting a debate on health care policy.

“Healthcare is too important for tweets, we need a real discussion,” Delaney said in a Tweet, adding it can be on any show of Ocasio-Cortez's choosing.

 

Ocasio-Cortez had not responded to Delaney's request as of Monday morning.

Universal health care and Medicare for All is a major issue in the Democratic primary as the Trump administration has targeted and chipped away at parts of ObamaCare.

Candidates are proposing a range of policies and routes toward universal health care. 

Ocasio-Cortez supports Medicare for All legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE (I-Vt.), one of the current front-runners in the Democratic primary. His legislation is backed by a number of Senate colleagues and primary opponents.