Ocasio-Cortez: 80 Percent Male Congress ‘Creates Blind Spots in Our Legislation’

Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Democratic nominee for New York State’s 14th congressional district November election Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Congress being “80 percent male” created “blind spots in our legislation.”

Partial transcript as follows:

MARGARET BRENNAN: Last week on this program we had the man you defeated, the New York Congressman Joe Crowley and he congratulated you on your win. He said you very much deserved it. He also explained two factors he thought that were- were decisive here. One of them being the year of the woman, he called it, and also the timing of the primary. Are those factors in your view?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I think that the factors that ultimately created our win was the fact that we had bold commitments and I campaigned on hard commitments of Medicare for all, tuition free public college, ensuring a Green New Deal for our future and championing those issues were the reason that we won. We won across demographics. We won- we expanded the electorate ourselves. We did the work of organizing.

BRENNAN: So you reject the idea that your gender was a factor here?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Um, you know, I think that you know I think that in this moment, there’s a confluence of factors that makes this moment inspiring. Right now more women than ever are running for office and I do think that women want representation in Congress, absolutely. Congress right now is 80 percent male. And that creates blind spots in our legislation. It means we don’t have family leave, we don’t have paid maternal and parental leave. It means that we don’t get the equal pay that we want. So I think those issues certainly were important.

BRENNAN: Well right now there is a female leader within the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi. If you are lucky enough to win in November and come here to Washington will you support her?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: You know, I need to get to Congress first. I need to work on winning my general election, but I’m excited to–

BRENNAN: You don’t see her as the party leader?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: I mean she is the current party leader, absolutely. And I look forward to be parting–to be part of that conversation and, and winning back the House. There is no decision about the party leader until we win the House first.

BRENNAN: So you are leaving open the possibility you may endorse her, if you win in November?


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