Democratic-socialist and congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in an interview released Tuesday with Pod Save America, dismissing them as out of touch with the working class.
A transcript is as follows:
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Just look at what happened to Joe Manchin this year. Joe Manchin faced a little-to-no-talked about primary from a woman on the left, Paula Jean Swearengin. I know Paula Jean Swearengin very well. She’s a coal miner’s daughter. She ran on no money, like not only did she run on no corporate money, but she had nothing. In two years, for a United States senator, she raised $179,000 total and you know, like, when you’re figuring stuff out in campaigns, like she really had only $100,000 to actually run that race. She was out there knocking doors herself. No money. Joe Manchin dropped two million dollars against her and she still got 30 percent of the vote. So, that to me, tells me that in West Virginia, which like went almost every county in West Virginia went for Bernie in 2016, who was further to the left, you know?
That to me, tells me that we need to start reframing our issues instead of left and right to top and down. It’s not about, like, ‘oh you know I have to weather my message to Republicans.’ There are really people who want to feel like there’s an unapologetic working-class champion for them. If Paula Jean Swearengin had $2 million, she got 30 percent of the vote on basically $79,000, 30 percent, that’s unheard of and she never held political office before! Umm, or you look at on the other end, Bob Menendez in Florida. He had an opponent that, like, didn’t even run a campaign and she got, like, 40% of the vote or something like that.
HOST: New Jersey.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Oh sorry, yeah New Jersey, sorry. Um, so, I think that it’s going to require a busting of this idea that we have of politics that has been so calcified, that we’ve taken so much as fact that I just don’t think is necessarily true. And I even get letters for Republicans all the time who support me because I don’t take corporate money.