Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) says that she has not ruled out running a primary challenge against Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in the 2022 midterms.
Ocasio-Cortez made the remarks during a CNN interview with Dana Bash that will air on Monday night. “I know it drives everybody nuts. But the way that I really feel about this, and the way that I really approach my politics and my political career is that I do not look at things and I do not set my course positionally,” said Ocasio-Cortez.
“I know there’s a lot of people who do not believe that. But I really — I can’t operate the way that I operate and do the things that I do in politics while trying to be aspiring to other things or calculating to other things,” she said in the interview.
Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most high-profile members of Congress, has in the past been reticent to publicly make concrete plans for her political future. Last year, she told The New York Times that she wasn’t sure if she still wanted a life in politics, and also revealed that, at the beginning of her first term, she was unsure if she would seek re-election.
But Ocasio-Cortez, as well as her fellow progressives, arguably have an outsized influence over the Democratic Party already.
Last week, the Biden administration extended an eviction moratorium for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) after Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), one of the most recent additions to the progressive “Squad,” decided to sleep on the steps of the Capitol building in protest — an effort that Ocasio-Cortez was also a part of. Notably, Schumer and Ocasio-Cortez hugged each other outside the Capitol after the CDC announcement.
Give @CoriBush her flowers 💐 she just paved the way for 11 million renters in the United States.
Servant leadership in action. pic.twitter.com/nu4uCz4vvx
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 4, 2021
BIG: CDC is adopting an eviction moratorium for the vast majority of the population.
Thank you to everyone who kept a spotlight on this—particularly @CoriBush who understands what it’s like to lose your home and turned passion into action.pic.twitter.com/tGDQkJVhPA
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 3, 2021
Earlier this year, after President Joe Biden ruled out Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to forgive $50,000 in federal student loan debt, the congresswoman hit back and said Schumer was on her side, as the New York Post reported back in February. Schumer has, in fact, been an advocate for mass student loan forgiveness, and even has a mask that reads “Cancel Student Debt.”
Schumer’s left-wing stance has even put him at odds with his House counterpart, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who only weeks ago called Schumer’s belief — that Biden could forgive $50,000 in student loan debt without Congress — wrong.
Ocasio-Cortez seemed to give a nod to Schumer’s progressive stances, telling CNN in the soon-to-air interview, “For what it’s worth, Senator Schumer and I have been working very closely on a lot of legislation and that, to me, is important.”
“And so, we shall see,” she added.