Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D., N.M.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on Sunday embraced the Democratic Socialists of America, saying the organization's platform provides a "positive conversation" for Democrats.
Luján appeared on MSNBC's "Kasie DC" to discuss several political issues, including Democratic leadership and the prospect of Democrats taking back the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections in November.
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"Do you think that the Democratic Socialists Party of America [sic]—do you think they'll have a place in the Democratic caucus?" host Kasie Hunt asked.
Luján responded by touting the work of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), who caucuses with Senate Democrats, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed socialist and congressional candidate in New York's 14th district. The DCCC chair added that both are "driving a conversation" about how their policies affect the American people.
"Do you think that conversation helps you win back the House, or does it hurt your efforts?" Hunt asked.
"Anytime we are having a conversation in the country that is about how you can make peoples' lives better, that's a positive conversation that we should have," Luján said.
Jesse Hunt, national press secretary of the National Republican Congressional Committee, slammed the DCCC in a statement, saying the organization's "fringe" policies are quickly becoming mainstream.
"This won't surprise anyone who has paid attention to the ideas being espoused by DCCC-backed candidates all over the country," Hunt said. "Policies that once were considered ‘fringe' are quickly becoming the standard for a party that grows more progressive by the day."
Ocasio-Cortez, who Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez pronounced the "future" of the Democratic Party, supports several extreme policy positions such as abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal jobs guarantee, and a single-payer health care system.