Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has claimed ‘we don’t have a left’ party in America as she urged Democrats to push harder to transform the healthcare system.
The New York Congresswoman criticized politicians in as she spoke at the MLK Now 2020 event in Harlem Monday, telling the audience that only some of the party are pushing for a widespread affordable plan.
‘We don’t have a left party in the United States. The Democratic Party is not a left party,’ AOC said. ‘The Democratic Party is a center or a center-conservative party.
‘We can’t even get a floor vote on Medicare-for-all – not even a floor voted that gets voted down. We can’t even get a vote on it.
AOC: “The Democratic Party is not a left party. The Democratic Party is a center, or a center-conservative party” pic.twitter.com/6TNAC50nXi
‘So this is not a left party. There are left members inside the Democratic Party that are working to try to make that shift happen.’
The audience at the event to acknowledge civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Day showed agreement as they applauded the woman from Queens.
Speaking at the event where famous faces including actress Naturi Naughton, musician J. Cole and footballer Marshawn Lynch made appearances, AOC had taken issue with the Q&A host’s reference to the ‘left’.
She began by saying: ‘I wanted to go back to what you said about our “left party”…’
AOC eventually ended up sharing that she agrees with Martin Luther King Jr.’s stance on capitalism helping the wealthy get richer while ill-serving the poor.
‘But you’re right, it does convey a certain sentiment about true believers, and there are a lot of true believers in that we can capitalism our way out of poverty in the Democratic Party,’ Ocasio-Cortez wrapped up. ‘If anything, that’s probably the majority.
‘And that’s an area in which I agree with Dr. King, in that that assessment is flawed.’
Ocasio-Cortez made similar comments about the Democrat Party in New York Magazine this month.
‘They let anybody who the cat dragged in call themselves a progressive. There’s no standard,’ she said in the interview. ‘Democrats can be too big of a tent.’
She took specific aim at 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
‘In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are,’ AOC said.
AOC’s thoughts on her party came on a day when gun rights protesters stepped out in Richmond, Virginia.
She compared lack of police at the protests on the federal holiday to acknowledge Dr. King’s vision of a ‘beloved community’, to cop-heavy protests after the in-custody deaths of black men Freddie Gray and Eric Garner.
‘There’s this gun rights protest that’s going on in Richmond … on MLK Day, but here’s the image that has [stuck]with me the most about that is that when we go out and march for the dignity and the recognition of the lives of people like Freddie Gray and Eric Garner,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.
According to a reporter in Virginia, at least one Confederate flag was spotted at the protest.
‘The whole place is surrounded by police in riot gear without a gun in sight. And here are all of these people flying Confederate flags with semiautomatic weapons and there’s almost no police officers at that protest.’
AOC added: ‘So who or what are our institutions protecting from who? And that image conveys it all, conveys it all.’