House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D- Calif., on Wednesday appeared to downplay the ramifications of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stunning victory in New York’s 14th Congressional District, saying voters went for the left-of-left candidate in one district and the outcome was not the seismic shift portrayed in the media.
“The fact that in a very progressive district in New York, it went more progressive — and (incumbent Rep.) Joe Crowley is a progressive — but to the left of Joe Crowley is about that district,” Pelosi said. “It is not to be viewed as something that stands for everything else.”
Crowley's loss to a Democratic socialist was considered a shocking defeat. He'd been considered a contender for speaker if Democrats retook the House in the November midterms.
President Trump on Wednesday told a rally in Fargo, N.D., that one of his "biggest critics, a slovenly man, Joe Crowley, got his ass kicked by a young woman who had a lot of energy."
Trump appeared pleased with Tuesday night’s primary results and appeared dead set on promoting Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., as the faces of the Democratic Party.
Pelosi was asked Wednesday about the Republican notion that socialism was afoot in her party and she denied the theory.
“It’s ascendent in that district, perhaps. But I don’t accept any characterization of our party presented by the Republicans. So let me reject that right now. Our party is a big tent, our districts are very different, one from the other,” she said.
The issues that Ocasio-Cortez ran on included expanding the Medicare program to people of all ages and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“We beat a machine with a movement, and that is what we have done today,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Working-class Americans want a clear champion and there is nothing radical about moral clarity in 2018.”
The New York Times editorial page said that Ocasio-Cortez’s victory was “a vivid sign of the changing of the guard.”
“What remains to be seen, though, is whether Democratic leaders will embrace these newcomers or see them as a threat,” the paper wrote. “That may determine whether Democrats are able to take back the House of Representatives in November.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report