01:51 - Source: CNN
Ocasio-Cortez explains why she won
Washington CNN —  

New York Democratic candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who delivered a major upset in Tuesday’s primary over incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, declined on Wednesday to support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for speaker if Democrats take back control of the House.

“I think it’s far too early to make those kinds of commitments right now,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “Newsroom,” adding that Democrats “need to just focus on winning in November first and then we’ll have the conversation about our leadership.”

On Wednesday night, Ocasio-Cortez responded comments by Pelosi, who remarked that her win was just “one district.”

“I think that we’re in the middle of a movement in this country – I feel this movement – but that movement is going to happen from the bottom up. That movement is going to come from voters. There are a lot of really exciting races with extremely similar dynamics as mine. It’s not just one district,” Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

The comments come amid speculation that many congressional Democrats would not back Pelosi to lead the party following a potential House takeover.

But Ocasio-Cortez, a former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer, said that she would unequivocally back the 2020 Democratic nominee against President Donald Trump, even if that meant a vote for Hillary Clinton.

“I think that we’re just at a moment where we absolutely have to support the Democratic nominee against President Trump, absolutely, without question,” she said.

“We’re used to voting for the lesser of two evils instead of the better of the two options. I hope in the future we realize that having more than one amazing candidate is not a problem,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that “I think there’s a lot of jockeying over the names but we need to take a look at some of the policies and proposals that earn that front-runner status.”

Ocasio-Cortez does not have a favored candidate yet out of the names already being floated as 2020 Democratic challengers to Trump.

If she wins and heads to Washington, Ocasio-Cortez also said she would support impeachment proceedings against Trump. She told CNN that Democrats have a case for impeachment based on claims that Trump violated the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal officeholders from receiving gifts and payments from foreign states.

The 28-year-old political newcomer delivered a stunning upset to Crowley, a 10-term incumbent and the No. 4 House Democrat, in New York’s 14th Congressional District. Crowley is the first House Democrat to lose his primary this midterm election cycle.

She chalked up her shocking upset primary victory over Crowley Tuesday night to her campaign’s outreach to New York City communities that she said the Democratic establishment had ignored.

“We won because we organized. We won because I think we had a very clear, winning message and we took that message to doors that had never been knocked on before,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We spoke to communities that had typically been, I think, dismissed and they responded.”

Ocasio-Cortez will now face Republican candidate Anthony Pappas in the general election.

CNN’s Sophie Tatum contributed to this report.