- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 1, 2018

Democratic House nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez downplayed Sunday her affiliation with democratic socialism, describing it as only “part of what I am.”

The 28-year-old member of the Democratic Socialists of America, who stunned the political world by defeating New York Rep. Joe Crowley in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, said the focus should be on her views, not a “label.”

“It’s part of what I am. It’s not all of what I am. And I think that that’s a very important distinction,” said Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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“I’m an educator, I’m an organizer,” she continued. “And I believe that what we’re really seeing is just a movement for health care housing and education in the United States.”

The candidate, whose platform included single-payer health care, a federal jobs guarantee and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said she wasn’t attempting to push her views on other Democrats.

“Democrats are a big tent party,” she said. “I’m not trying to impose an ideology on all several hundred members of Congress, but I do think that once again it’s not selling an -ism or an ideology or a label or a color. It’s about selling our values.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez credited her upset victory in part to her building a “broad-based coalition of people,” as well as “a lack of listening on the ground” by the political leadership in the Queens-based district.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought last week to tamp down speculation that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory comes as the latest sign of a Democratic hard-left turn, saying, “They made a choice in one district.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez begged to differ. “I think there are a lot of districts in the country that are like New York 14 that have changed a lot in the last 20 years and whose representation has not,” she said.

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