AOC: Democrats have ‘never tried’ with Latino voters
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) says her party has never made an effort to win over Hispanic voters.
Speaking on Tuesday’s “Pod Save America” podcast, Ocasio-Cortez addressed why she thinks some Democratic voters are leaving the party.
“I can at least say with Latino voters, we’ve never tried as a party. The Democratic Party has not tried in terms of Latino electorates,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez’s frustration mirrors a longstanding gripe held by many Latino leaders over a lack of investment in wooing their communities.
“We really need to step up both in our efforts on campaign, but also in our efforts in governance,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez raised the lack of legislative results on immigration reform as an example.
While immigration usually ranks in importance below health care, education and the economy among Hispanic voters, it is a uniquely mobilizing issue in many Hispanic communities.
“And I mean, where’s our DREAM Act? Where is our immigration reform?” asked Ocasio-Cortez.
The lawmaker also took President Biden to task for excluding undocumented immigrants from the blanket pardon he issued earlier this month for people convicted of marijuana possession at a federal level.
“And even recently with President Biden’s marijuana executive order, I very much applaud that he went there, but he exempted people who were convicted if they were convicted while they were undocumented,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
Biden’s executive order earlier this month explicitly excluded undocumented immigrants, despite the fact that foreign nationals are more likely to face federal drug possession charges, while U.S. citizens would normally face those charges at a state level.
“We’re looking at the overwhelming majority of people who have been convicted that would have benefited from that pardon have status, they have status complications,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
Speaking to former Obama administration aides Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor — the hosts of “Pod Save America” — Ocasio-Cortez also said Democrats often fail to deliver a clear message to counter a unified Republican Party.
“It’s tough because on the other side they have no qualms. They have no qualms about having an anti-immigrant message,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“But I think we get scared of that and that segmentation prevents a clear message and that lack of clarity makes it hard to win people over,” she added.