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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Democrats made a “mistake” by not using her and fellow progressives during the Virginia gubernatorial race, where Republican Glenn Youngkin narrowly defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
During an interview with The New York Times published Monday, Ocasio-Cortez complained that she wasn’t invited to campaign with McAuliffe or help out with the race in any way.
“Before the Virginia elections, it was very clear that our help and our participation was not wanted or asked for, which is fine. I’m not here to tell people how to run their races,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But at the same time, to consider the members here that have some of the tightest relationships to our political base as just a uniform liability – and not something that can be selectively deployed, or consulted, or anything – I think it’s just sad. I think it was a mistake.
“And we saw a big youth turnout collapse,” she continued. “Not a single person asked me to send an email, not even to my own list. And then they turn around and say, ‘It’s their fault.’ When I think it was communicated quite expressly that we were unwelcome to pitch in.
“The idea that we just accept a collapse in youth turnout – and essentially turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy – in times when races are decided by such narrow margin points: I think it’s ill advised,” she added.
McAuliffe, who previously served one term in the Virginia governor’s seat from 2014 to 2018, held onto a single-digit lead over Youngkin in the months leading up to Election Day, but was ultimately defeated even after campaigning with President Biden, Vice President Harris, former President Obama, and other top Democrats.
The win for Youngkin is now seen as a referendum on Biden’s administration as well as liberal ideologies that have spread under his administration.
Ocasio-Cortez raised eyebrows earlier this month after she claimed Youngkin won the election because McAuliffe ran a “100% super moderated campaign” that didn’t “energize a progressive base.”
“Plus, on the election front. I actually think we have good news as well. I know that Virginia was a huge bummer,” she said in a Nov. 3 Instagram story. “And honestly, if anything, I think that the results show the limits of trying to run a fully 100% super moderated campaign that does not excite speak to or energize a progressive base. And frankly, we weren’t even really invited to contribute on that race.”
Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.