Transcript for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the future of the Democratic Party
rican from the bronx, Alexandria ocasio-cortez who was visibly shocked when she pulled off the most stunning upset in Tuesday's primaries, defeating a ten-term congressman who was in line to replace Nancy Pelosi. Please welcome Alexandria ocasio-cortez. ?????? Oh, my goodness. I am so proud. Oh, thank you. I am so proud of you. Congratulations. We had you walk out to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to run" because your opponent, Joe Crowley dedicated a rendion of the song to you after your victory. Yeah. Did you have any idea that you would win? You know, I spent the last year and a half knocking doors just thinking about 8:59 P.M. On Tuesday. Wow. And I had no idea or preparation for anything that would happen after that. I just figured, I'm going to work as hard as I can and just leave it up to the universe. So I think I was just -- I was just so surprised and I was so shocked, you know, walking in there. Oh, my goodness. I wasn't even checking on my phone I was so nervous. Walking in was literally the moment I had seen the results. And here you are. Yeah. You're only 28 years old. You will be the youngest woman ever elected to congress if you win. Yeah. In your campaign video you said, women like me aren't supposed to run for office. Why did you run? I ran because I felt like we could do better, and that we could be better as a country. And I look around, yes. We hadn't had a primary election in 14 years, and it was clear nobody else would be doing this work. I figured if no one else would do it, and I feel like we can be better, that means it's my responsibility to do something. I just want to mention, and I think people should really know this. When you did win people said, this 28-year-old bartender who isn't qualified, you went to Boston university, and you studied exhibition and international relations. You worked for Ted Kennedy and Bernie Sanders. You have been a political activist all while also bartending. Yeah. And helping your mother because your father passed away. Yeah. So people should know that. Thank you. Your win sent shockwaves basically through the democratic party. They did not expect it. Nope. They spent -- how much money did they spend on Crowley? A lot. It was definitely well over $3 million. What did you spend? You know, for the lion's share, at the very end, it was lot more small dollar donations coming in, but we had about $300,000 until those end days when things started surging. There is quite a discrepancy. 10-1. Yeah. Do you think that shows the democratic party at the moment does not get it? They don't understand to back people like? Yeah. Well, I think what we're dealing with right now is the dynamics of power. Once someone has power, it is so hard to challenge it. Even if you think that that other person was right. So I can't tell you how many times I would talk to people. People were afraid to even take pictures with me in public because of what that could mean. What kind of people? The kennedys? You know, local city council members. There was a machine and a party apparatus, and you can't challenge the boss because my job would be at risk. There were so many people behind closed doors that said, I want to support you. I believe you are what's best, but I can't because my job will be at risk. Uh-huh. There is a lot of that going on. On both sides. It does. I have been talking about it on the show, and I believe there is a fracture in the democratic party, and you consider yourself a democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders, correct? Mm-hmm. Nancy Pelosi was asked about you and she didn't give you a ringing endorsement. You didn't exactly give her a ringing endorsement. Do you think that the future of the democratic party is socialism? First of all, there is a huge difference between socialism and democratic socialism. What it boils down to me is I believe that in a moral and wealthy America, in a moral and modern America, no person should be too poor to live in this country. And that's what I believe. So I can understand that there may be some divisions. I don't think people wake up in the morning and say, I'm a capitalist, you know? So it's funny that when I win, this is the word that's always so thrown around. I bet trump wakes up like that. The future of the party is more Bernie than Nancy? I think that for young people -- here's what I think. I think the future of the party is working class, and I think that what I represent and perhaps senator Sanders, senator Warren, a lot of working class champions in the democratic party, and I think that's the future. So the word socialism is used all the time. We should save that conversation for another time because I think Meghan and I would have different opinions. This is about you today, and what you did was really amazing. You're -- obviously I come from a different world view on how to approach problems, but your campaign video was so fantastic. Yes. I wish we could have shown some of it. Thank you. It was inspiring, it was real, and relatable. I think that message -- that is universal. We can debate how you go about solving the problems, but I think you should be really proud, and your mom I know is here too. Yeah, she is. I was so proud of the fact that you have -- right there. Right there is mom. That's an inspiration for so many -- so many women, and not only just women in general, but women of color. So you should be -- you should be very, very proud of that. Thank you. So I hear though that you potentially want to run for president one day. Is that true? I don't know. I don't know. My mom tells me I used to say that as a kid. I used to say that stuff. It's so hard to run for congress. I cannot even imagine. I can't even imagine how focused Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders had to be to run for president. It was exhausting running for the bronx and queens. If trump can do it, anybody can do it. Don't stop there if you don't want to. People are excited on the heels of your win because there is a hopeful, aspirational message you have. There have been a lot of trump wins this week. He got his travel ban, and the retirement of justice Kennedy. What power do Democrats have right now? Yeah. What I like to kind of think about is power in a much broader sense instead of just who the incumbents in the party are, and what they are capable of. I come as an educator and an organizer. I believe that our power, as a party, is organizing people. A mass movement of people, and when we organize people, when we win hearts and minds, then we impact what happens in those chambers and that's where I think our power can really come
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