Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney had some harsh words for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for her apparent lack of participation in what he called a “historic defense” of their New York majority.
Mahoney spoke to several media outlets about the aftermath of his loss in the race for New York’s 17th Congressional District. Along with Maloney failing to secure a previously Democratic stronghold, Republicans won at least six additional seats in the midterm elections, with several races still too close to call. Although Gov. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., managed to win, her close race was considered a disappointment for the Democratic Party.
While recalling the election, Maloney noted that Ocasio-Cortez had no part in protecting their state’s majority.
“The last time I ran into A.O.C., we were beating her endorsed candidate two to one in a primary, and I didn’t see her one minute of these midterms helping our House majority. So, I’m not sure what kind of advice she has, but I’m sure she’ll be generous with it,” Maloney told The New York Times.
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He added, “But let’s be clear, she had almost nothing to do with what turned out to be an historic defense of our majority. Didn’t pay a dollar of dues. Didn’t do anything for our frontline candidates except give them money when they didn’t want it from her.”
Ocasio-Cortez previously came under fire in June after she endorsed Maloney’s more progressive primary challenger. Her disagreement with Maloney re-established an ongoing conflict between moderate and liberal Democrats.
“There are other voices who should be heard, especially when suburban voters have clearly rejected the ideas that she’s most associated with, from defunding the police on down. She’s an important voice in our politics. But when it comes to passing our agenda through the Congress, or standing our ground on the political battlefield, she was nowhere to be found,” Maloney said.
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Maloney also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” where he suggested that Hochul’s lower favorability ratings and weak poll numbers were also a factor in Democrat candidates’ struggles.
“The governor is losing by double digits [in battleground House districts]. Our candidates have to outperform the governor by more than ten points, often more than 15 points. That’s a lot to ask of a first-time candidate,” Maloney said.
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However, he later claimed he was “not blaming the governor” for New York losses.
“Blame me because I should have won 3,000 more votes.,” Maloney said. “What I mean is, to do so, I would have had to outperform the top of the ticket by 10-12 points and that’s a tall order and I was definitely walking and chewing gum at the same time.”