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Dem senator: Ocasio-Cortez's platform is future of party in the 'Bronx,' not country
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Sunday warned against Democrats shifting "too far to the left," saying it could alienate Midwestern voters.
Duckworth made the comments on CNN's "State of the Union" when pressed about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's upset win over longtime Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley in New York last week.
Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, defeated the fourth-ranking House Democrat who many had floated as a potential future Democratic Speaker of the House.
The 28-year-old political upstart's win sparked a conversation about younger, more progressive figures taking on greater influence in the Democratic Party.
"State of the Union" host Jake Tapper asked Duckworth on Sunday if she felt Ocasio-Cortez represents the future of the Democratic Party.
"I think it's the future of the party in the Bronx, where she is," Duckworth said.
"I think that you can't win the White House without the Midwest and I don't think you can go too far to the left and still win the Midwest," Duckworth said during the interview.
"You need to talk to the industrial Midwest, you need to listen to the people there," she added.
Duckworth's comments echoed those of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said people should not get "carried away" over Ocasio-Cortez's nomination.
"They made a choice in one district," Pelosi said. "So let's not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics and the rest of that within the caucus or outside the caucus."
Ocasio-Cortez has said Democrats were "afraid" to support her primary bid against Crowley because they did not want to upset the "party apparatus."
"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,' " Ocasio-Cortez said on ABC's "The View."
Ocasio-Cortez said she thinks the future of the Democratic Party is "working class."
"There's a lot of champions of the working class in the Democratic party, and I do think that that's the future," Ocasio-Cortez said.