New York Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has not been elected into any political office yet and some Democrat lawmakers are already voicing concerns over her divisive rhetoric.
Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist, rose to fame after her shocking defeat over Rep. Joseph Crowley in the primary. Crowley, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and the fourth ranking Democrat, was considered a rising-star within the party and was expected to soar to victory.
Since entering the limelight, Ocasio-Cortez has used her new platform to attack both Democrats and Republicans alike, causing some on the left to worry that fractioning the party will ultimately hurt Democrats in the November midterm elections.
Ocasio-Cortez ignited a firestorm after she falsely claimed last week that Crowley was running a third-party bid against her, causing some democrats to air their grievances.
.@repjoecrowley stated on live TV that he would absolutely support my candidacy.
Instead, he’s stood me up for all 3 scheduled concession calls.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) July 12, 2018
Crowley instantly fired back disputing Ocasio-Cortez’s claim and calling for party unity. “Alexandria, the race is over and Democrats need to come together. I’ve made my support for you clear and the fact that I’m not running,” Crowley tweeted.
A host of Democrats have expressed their irritation with the socialist darling in the week following the tweet, even warning for her to tone down her rhetoric.
Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell came to Crowley’s defense, telling The Hill, “[Ocasio-Cortez is] carrying on and she ain’t gonna make friends that way. Joe conceded, wished her well, and said he would support her … so she doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.” The New Jersey congressman continued, “She’s not asking my advice [but] I would do it differently, rather than make enemies of people.”
Missouri Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay also expressed frustratation with Ocasio-Cortez, explaining, “Once an election is over and you win, why are you still angry? I think it’s a lack of maturity on her part, and a lack of political acumen, for her to be that petty. We as Democrats better figure out who the real enemy is and it’s not each other.”
Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida advised Ocasio-Cortez to build relationships with members of her party in order to be productive when she gets to Washington, D.C., rather than fight them.
“Meteors fizz out. What she will learn in this institution is that it’s glacial to begin with, and therefore no matter how far you rise, that’s just how far you will ultimately get your comeuppance,” Hastings said to The Hill. “You come up here and you’re going to be buddy-buddy with all the folks or you’re going to make them do certain things? Ain’t happening, okay?”
Ocasio-Cortez will face Republican Anthony Pappas, a St. John University professor, in the general election.