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Centrist Dem Not Scared of Ocasio-Cortez ‘List’: Let Her Try to Primary Me

Centrist Dem Not Scared of Ocasio-Cortez ‘List’: Let Her Try to Primary Me

“I’ll lay out the red carpet.”

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., a centrist who defied the party line in a legislative amendment vote in February, said during an interview aired Tuesday that he’s unmoved by fellow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-N.Y.reported threat against moderate Democrats.

“Metrofocus” host Rafael Pi Roman alluded to reports that Ocasio-Cortez vowed to keep a “list” of centrist Democrats “who stray from the fold” on congressional votes.

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Roman asked Rose to respond.

“She’s going to keep a list – This is very simple because I’m not one to deal in subtleties,” the New York lawmaker replied. “I think it’s best not to be passive aggressive.”

“If she wants to primary me, if the Justice Democrats want to primary me, I’ll lay out the red carpet,” he added. “We can settle this at the polls.”

After 26 Democrats voted with Republicans on a legislative amendment in late-February, Ocasio-Cortez reportedly said during a closed-door meeting Thursday that those individuals had made her “list.”

Rose was one of those 26 Democrats.


At issue was a bill that expands federal background checks for gun purchases. The 26 Democrats joined Republicans in tacking on a requirement for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be notified if an illegal immigrant attempts to purchase a gun.

The amendment apparently didn’t sit well with Ocasio-Cortez, who has been a vocal critic of ICE since entering the political stage ahead of the 2018 election.

The freshman representative was joined in her frustration by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Washington Post reported. In the same closed door meeting, Pelosi lashed out at her more moderate colleagues.

“We are either a team or we’re not, and we have to make that decision,” Pelosi is quoted as saying during the meeting.

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Ocasio-Cortez went even further, according to spokesman Corbin Trent, threatening to help progressive activists unseat the 26 Democrats in the 2020 election.

“She said that when activists ask her why she had to vote for a gun safety bill that also further empowers an agency that forcibly injects kids with psychotropic drugs, they’re going to want a list of names and she’s going to give it to them,” Trent told the Post.

The effect political star Ocasio-Cortez, and fellow young progressives Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-M.N., and Rashida Tlaib, D-M.I., are having in setting the Democratic party agenda has not gone unnoticed.

But critics of this more youthful, more left-leaning iteration of the Democratic party question whether its increased radicalism and rejection to compromise will backfire.

A January Gallup poll found that a majority of Democrats want a more moderate party.

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Cover image: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. and Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y. (Screen grab)



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