AOC lashes out at Democratic party over lack of support: ‘I didn’t even know if I would run for re-election’

Progressive congresswoman issues scathing assessment of her own party, less than 24 hours after Joe Biden is declared president-elect

Louise Hall
Monday 09 November 2020 05:32 GMT
AOC says she considered not running for re-election over Democratic Party divisions

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that she might quit politics if Democrats continue to be “hostile” towards progressive causes.

In an interview with The New York Times, shortly after president-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, AOC admitted that she wasn’t even initially sure if she was going to run for reelection this year.

“I genuinely don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to be in politics,” she told the newspaper.

“You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year.”

When asked why she he cited “stress”, “violence” and “lack of support from your own party” as among her reasons.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez was re-elected to her New York congressional seat by a large margin this week, early results showed.

The progressive congresswoman has become a rising star in the party and stands as an advocate for a universal single payer healthcare system and the Green New Deal.

She criticised Democrats for refusing to embrace progressive causes and signposted the emerging rift between the progressive and moderate ends of the party for her increasing disillusion with the party.

Read more: Follow 2020 US election results live

“Externally, there’s been a ton of support, but internally, it’s been extremely hostile to anything that even smells progressive,” she said.

On Saturday, the congresswoman gave congratulations to Mr Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris before swiftly criticising the Democrats' poor showing in races down the ticket.

The party had higher hopes heading into the 2020 election but instead lost seats in the House and are in a two-seat run-off battle for control of the Senate.

“I chose to run for re-election because I felt like I had to prove that this is real. That this movement was real. That I wasn’t a fluke,” Rep Ocasio-Cortez said of her eventual decision to run.

“That people really want guaranteed health care and that people really want the Democratic Party to fight for them.”

Many have speculated that Rep Ocasio-Cortez could  be a possible candidate for a presidential bid in the future, although the 31-year-old has previously said that she is “not a person who aspires to a position” but a “mission”.

“I’m serious when I tell people the odds of me running for higher office and the odds of me just going off trying to start a homestead somewhere — they’re probably the same,” she concluded in her interview with The New York Times.

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