Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley’s primary loss to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “stunning development,” but argued that Democrats going left is going to hurt the overall popularity of the party.
“The energy in the Democratic Party is self-avowed socialists, open borders,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in an interview with Politico on Wednesday. “We even had a credible potential candidate for president in 2020 suggest we get rid of ICE, the border enforcement agency. I think the Democrats are going hard left.”
McConnell, who rarely gives interviews, said the majority of American voters don’t want to be a “European socialist country.”
He continued: “If you look at the presidential primary, voters in 2020, it seems to me that like 35 or 40% were self-identified socialists so I think it’s a general election problem for them in a number of places and a real drag on the party in terms of appealing to American voters who I don’t think want us to turn into a European socialist country.”
Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Latina who is running her first campaign, ousted 10-term incumbent Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district in the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season.
Ocasio-Cortez, an activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won over voters in the majority-minority district with a ruthlessly efficient grassroots bid, even as Crowley – the fourth-ranked Democrat in the House – outraised her by a 10-to-1 margin.