New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not rule out a 2022 primary challenge against Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a fellow New York Democrat, during an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash.
In the first episode of CNN’s new series “Being…” — which will air Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern Time — Bash asked Ocasio-Cortez if she is contemplating a future run against Schumer.
Ocasio-Cortez replied with a laugh, a snippet of the episode shows. She then said that challenging Schumer was something she wasn’t currently thinking about. Nonetheless, she stopped short of saying she won’t run against the Senate majority leader in the future.
“I know it drives everybody nuts. But the way that I really feel about this, and the way that I really approach my politics and my political career is that I do not look at things and I do not set my course positionally,” Ocasio-Cortez told Bash.
“I know there’s a lot of people who do not believe that. But I really– I can’t operate the way that I operate and do the things that I do in politics while trying to be aspiring to other things or calculating to other things,” she added.
“I make decisions based on what I think our people need, and my community needs, and so I’m not commenting on that.”
The firebrand Democratic congresswoman previously dodged the same question during an interview with Punchbowl News co-founder John Bresnahan.
According to snippets of the interview Bresnahan shared in a Jan. 4 post on Twitter, when the reporter asked the congresswoman if she thought of running against Schumer in 2022, Ocasio-Cortez said, “I’m a no bulls*** kind of person. I’m not playing coy or anything like that.”
“I’m still very much in a place where I’m trying to decide what is the most effective thing I can do to help our Congress, our [political] process, and our country actually address the issues of climate change, health care, wage inequality, etc,” she added.
Though the senator is considered to be part of the “moderate” wing of the Democrat Party, unlike other so-called “moderates,” he has not been as critical of members of the party’s progressive wing, even siding with them on certain occasions, CNN reported.
“For what it’s worth, Sen. Schumer and I have been working very closely on a lot of legislation and that, to me, is important,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN. “And so, we shall see.”
As for plans going beyond the Senate, Ocasio-Cortez told Bash that trying to see far into the future would prevent her from effectively carrying out her duties to her constituents now.
“I struggle with this because I don’t want little girls watching or anything like that to lower their sights or anything in that direction. But for me, I feel that if that was in the scope of my ambition, it would chip away at my courage today,” she told CNN.
“I think what happens a lot in politics is that people are so motivated to run for certain higher office that they compromise in fighting for people today. And the idea is that if you can be as clean of a slate or as blank of a slate, that it makes it easier for you to run for higher office later on.”
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