Asked directly about a characterization from Republicans that democratic socialism was “ascendent” in the Democratic Party, Pelosi dismissed the notion.
“It’s ascendent in that district perhaps,” she said of New York’s 14th congressional district, an exceptionally diverse swath of Queens and Bronx counties. “But I don’t accept any characterization of our party presented by the Republicans. So let me reject that right now. Our party is a big tent, our districts are very different, one from the other.”
Ocasio-Cortez, 28, ran an unapologetically left-wing campaign, championing Medicare for All and the abolishment of ICE, while representing a new face for Democrats and younger voters.
Crowley, on the other hand, was first elected in 1999, chaired the Queens County Democratic Party, and outspent his young opponent ten to one.
“Each of our members is elected to be the independent representative of their district, Pelosi continued. “So nobody’s district is representative of somebody’s else’s district.”
The Democratic leader did say, however, that Ocasio-Cortez was part of an exciting trend in voters selecting women to represent them in Congress.
“The fact that in a very progressive district in New York, it went more progressive—well Joe Crowley is a progressive—but more to the left of Joe Crowley is about that district,” Pelosi asserted. “It is not to be viewed as something that stands for everything else. Are we excited about another generation of people coming into the Congress? I’m particularly excited that so many women are running across the country.”
Pelosi has already faced a cadre of Democratic candidates calling for new House Democratic leadership should the party retake a majority in November. Before Tuesday night, Crowley had been named in that conversation as a potential successor to Pelosi.
Asked whether leadership should reflect a younger, female, diverse electorate and selection of candidates, Pelosi quipped: “Well I’m female, I’m progressive. What’s your problem? Two out of three aint bad.”