Democratic Whip Reins in Ocasio-Cortez: 'She Has an Understanding That Not Everybody Has the District She Has'

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images
July 24, 2018

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said he spoke with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and suggested the young Democratic star had received the message that not every district is as open as New York's 14th to far-left ideas.

Hoyer spoke with the 28-year-old by phone on Thursday and they had a "good conversation" where he told her to focus on helping Democrats win the majority in the House of Representatives, Roll Call reported.

"I think she has an understanding that not everybody has the district she has," Hoyer said.

Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist who stunned the political world last month with an upset primary win over Rep. Joe Crowley (D., N.Y.) in New York's 14th district, has become an in-demand campaigner for progressives across the United States. She campaigned on such ideas as abolishing Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, a universal jobs guarantee, and forgiveness of all student debt.

She also supports impeaching President Donald Trump, a campaign opposed by Hoyer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), and other top Democrats who fear it's a distraction and a way to fire up Republicans.

Ocasio-Cortez has ruffled some Democratic feathers by accusing Crowley of continuing to campaign against her, campaigning for insurgent progressives against incumbent Democrats, and calling for a far-left sub-caucus of Democrats in Congress to swing close votes.

She's had her share of stumbles in interviews since gaining national prominence as well, making a "Pants on Fire" claim about the unemployment rate and confessing to lacking knowledge about the Middle East after declaring the Israeli military perpetrated a "massacre" against Palestinians.