A former governor of New York said Sunday that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has far less influence on voters than the media leads people to believe.
Former Democratic Gov. David Paterson dismissed any influence Ocasio-Cortez might have during a Sunday interview on WABC radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,’ according to the New York Post.
Paterson served as New York’s governor from 2008 through 2010 after the resignation of scandal-plagued Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
During the show, Paterson was asked by host John Catsimatidis about the results of Tuesday’s Democratic primaries in New York state. As noted by the New York Post, far-left Democrats endorsed by AOC fared poorly in the contests.
After Catsimatidis asked if the losses marked “the rise and fall of AOC,” Paterson replied, “I don’t know if there ever was a rise, John.”
“I think AOC defeated a congressman who was notably absent from his district a lot, so she outworked him and she beat him, and then she became this overnight, national success,” Paterson said.
Paterson was referring to former Rep. Joe Crowley, who was defeated by Ocasio-Cortez in a June 2018 primary.
“But really, there’s no evidence that it had any coattails, not in this 2022 primary, but not even in the 2020 elections,” Paterson said. “I think she is really a phantom of the media. The media projects her.”
Paterson noted the easy win by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul in the primary last week as evidence that moderation is more important to New Yorkers than extremism.
“If you look at the gubernatorial primary, Hochul got 66%, [New York City Public Advocate] Jumaane Williams gets 16%, and so she beat the progressive by 50 points, and the other 18% or so went to [moderate US Rep.] Tom Suozzi,” Paterson told Catsimatidis.
Paterson also said Ocasio-Cortez deserves neither sole credit nor blame for Amazon not coming to Queens in 2019.
“She was given credit for stopping Amazon from coming into New York. It had nothing to do with her,” Paterson said. “It had to do with the legislators being angry that Governor [Andrew] Cuomo had never told them that he was negotiating with them and took all the credit for himself.”
As the show ended, Paterson gave a summary.
“My overall thought to your original question about AOC,” Paterson said, “is [that] AOC are just three letters in the alphabet.”
Ocasio-Cortez is backing Democratic challenger Alessandra Biaggi over the more moderate incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney in New York’s 17th District.
But one commentator said this is bigger than one personality.
“They need to meet them where they are on the issues. The power of incumbency certainly plays a strong role, but in the open seats with no incumbent, the mainstream Democrat won.”
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