by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday appeared in a new video with Justice Democrats, a group that’s pushing like-minded progressives to run for office even if the seat is already held by a Democrat.
“Everybody knows someone in their life that is already an amazing public servant,” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said in the video. “Nominate that amazing public servant to take their service to the halls of Congress. Give them that nudge.”
Justice Democrats supported Ocasio-Cortez during her successful 2018 run against then-incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley. Ocasio-Cortez has created tension in the Democratic Party by favoring new faces and questioning the leadership of Democrats who have been in the party for decades.
Nasim Thompson, one of the two leaders of the progressive group, said in the video that progressives need to challenge establishment Democrats.
“I think we … really have a chance to transform the Democratic Party. Running in competitive primary elections in Democratic-held seats is important,” Thompson said as Ocasio-Cortez nodded her head in agreement.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments have drawn a rebuke from establishment liberals. Actress Whoopi Goldberg pushed back on Ocasio-Cortez’s comments from a “60 Minutes” interview this month in which she called for a younger, more progressive Democratic caucus.
“You just got in there, and I know you’ve got lots of good ideas, but I would encourage you to sit still for a minute and learn the job, because there are people in that party who have been working their tails off for this country. They know a lot, and you could learn some stuff from them,” Goldberg said.