Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Iowa voters recently that progressives’ attempts to move the Democratic Party to the left are actually returning the party to its historic roots.
“When people try to accuse us of going too far left — we’re not pushing the party left, we are bringing the party home,” she said during a Saturday rally for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
However, Ocasio-Cortez — who has butted heads on multiple occasions with Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — also insisted that she and Sanders were part of a political revolution.
“Are you all ready for a revolution?” she said as she kicked off her appearance in Coralville, Iowa. “I sure am.”
She returned to the theme again, telling the crowd “people are ready for a true political revolution in the United States.”
Sanders is seeking to use Ocasio-Cortez to connect with younger voters and boost turnout.
“She’s going to do both,” Stacey Walker, the Sanders campaign’s Iowa co-chair, told Politico.
“There is a generation of young political activists that see AOC as the future of the party,” she said. “We will see an expanded turnout among the Latino community.”
Not everyone was sold on the impact of Ocasio-Cortez on middle America’s voters.
“I’m excited to see him but I’m really mostly here for her.”
Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders campaigned together in Iowa this weekend. There was a lot of enthusiasm but also some skepticism about how their progressive message plays in the state. https://t.co/cXOHd8APg9
— Sydney Ember (@melbournecoal) November 11, 2019
“Western Iowa isn’t exactly New York City,” Scott Punteney, head of the Pottawattamie County Democratic Party, told Politico.
“Some of her ideas might not sit well with a lot of more moderate Democrats, which is kind of what we have in the area,” he said.
“It plays moderately well in blue areas, but far less well in areas that voted Republican in 2016,” said Steven Drahozal, the Democratic chair in Dubuque County, Iowa, which supported President Donald Trump in 2016.
“They have been painted as socialists, and that turns off many moderate and Republican voters,” he told The New York Times.
Sanders, for his part, used his new partnership with Ocasio-Cortez for a gag line about his age.
“People sometimes say that Alexandria and I are an odd couple, that she is so old and I am so young,” he said at a campaign event Friday. “But that’s OK. I’m not an ageist.”
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