Ocasio-Cortez dares moderate Dems to grow thicker skin, says ‘discomfort’ is part of politics: ‘I’m uncomfortable all the time’

August 8, 2019 0 By Archana Chaudhary
Ocasio-Cortez dares moderate Dems to grow thicker skin, says ‘discomfort’ is part of politics: ‘I’m uncomfortable all the time’

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is no snowflake.

The rookie New York congresswoman — who has made plenty of enemies on both sides of the aisle with her bold progressive agenda — dared moderate Democrats to get on her level Wednesday, saying she always feels “uncomfortable” but that the uneasiness is worth it.

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“Change always requires a certain degree of discomfort,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Daily News in an exclusive interview at her district office in Jackson Heights, Queens. “Speaking of these issues does make you a target.”

“I’m uncomfortable all the time,” she added with a laugh.

Spending her first 200 days in office advocating for ambitious policy blueprints like a Green New Deal and Medicare for All — which critics say are fiscally impossible — Ocasio-Cortez has positioned herself as a left-wing firebrand who never backs down from a fight.

Recently, she blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — the top Democrat in Congress — as “outright disrespectful” for “singling out” her and other progressive “women of color” for criticism.

“While I try to be kind, I also stand up for myself and other colleagues,” Ocasio-Cortez told The News

By the same token, Ocasio-Cortez’s ex-chief of staff has accused some centrists of acting like racist Dixiecrats for voting in favor of border funding approved by President Trump. Meanwhile, the Justice Democrats — a political action committee closely aligned with the congresswoman — is launching and threatening primary challenges against middle-of-the-road Democrats, including longtime Queens Rep. Gregory Meeks, prompting criticism that Ocasio-Cortez’s flank is fracturing the party.

But the Bronx-born 29-year-old wishes her fellow Dems would grow thicker skin.

“One of the things that is hard is that sometimes folks take things very personally, almost too personally,” she said. “I have no intent to personally criticize my colleagues. I think sometimes people are trying to read too deeply.”