The leftist admitted on Sunday that her progressive “Squad” was intentionally left out of the effort to help Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe win. McAuliffe ended up losing to Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin.
“Before the Virginia elections, it was very clear that our help and our participation was not wanted or asked for,” she told the New York Times. “I think it’s just sad. I think it was a mistake.”
Ocasio–Cortez insisted that she could have done something to prevent the “youth turnout collapse” that affected the Virginia elections.
“Not a single person asked me to send an email, not even to my own list,” she said. “And then they turn around and say, ‘It’s their fault,’ when I think it was communicated quite expressly that we were unwelcome to pitch in.”
Moderate and progressive Democrats have both blamed each other for McAuliffe’s loss. Moderates argued the Left’s radicalism lost them the suburbs, while progressives such as Ocasio–Cortez have claimed McAuliffe lost because he wasn’t progressive enough.
“I know that Virginia was a huge bummer,” Ocasio–Cortez said the day after the Nov. 2 election. “And honestly, if anything, I think that the results show the limits of trying to run a fully 100% super-moderated campaign that does not excite, speak to, or energize a progressive base, and frankly, we weren’t even really invited to contribute on that race.”
Other leftists, however, have tried to steer the progressive group away from party infighting.
“I am not in the blame game here,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said. “I’m about trying to get things done.”