Following Tuesday's election in which the Democratic Party underperformed expectations in U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state legislative races, Democrats blamed anti-police and pro-socialism messaging for their failures.
But avowed socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who loudly cried for defunding the police, told CNN over the weekend that Democrats did not campaign on socialism or anti-police sentiment.
Instead, AOC claimed, the whole thing was just some GOP smear against her party.
Last week, Democrats gathered on a conference call to discuss the fallout from the 2020 congressional elections.
During the call, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) said that if the Democrats "are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we're not going to win," Politico reported.
He was backed up by moderate Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger (Va.) who reportedly "scolded" the party for campaigning on extreme messages that nearly cost her her re-election.
"We need to be pretty clear," she said. "It was a failure. It was not a success. We lost incredible members of Congress."
"We have to commit to not saying the words 'defund the police' ever again," Spanberger continued. "We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again."
"If we run this race again we will get f***ing torn apart again in 2022," she added, according to the Washington Post.
Ocasio-Cortez did not take kindly to the accusations. In fact, she said she might even have to get out of politics, while complaining to the New York Times:
So I need my colleagues to understand that we are not the enemy. And that their base is not the enemy. That the Movement for Black Lives is not the enemy, that Medicare for all is not the enemy. This isn't even just about winning an argument. It's that if they keep going after the wrong thing, I mean, they're just setting up their own obsolescence.
During an interview Sunday with Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union," the congresswoman tried to claim that the reason Democrats got dinged by voters for supporting socialism and defunding the police was due to Republican "rhetorical attacks."
Responding to Spanberger's statements, Ocasio-Cortez said that "Republicans levied very effective rhetorical attacks against our party" and that her party needs to figure out how to defend themselves against such attacks.
The socialist lawmaker claimed that it was GOP smears and not Democratic candidates that linked the party to groups advocating for socialism and anti-police efforts.
"If you look at some of the arguments that are being advanced, that 'defund the police' hurt or that arguments about socialism hurt, not a single member of Congress that I'm aware of campaigned on socialism or defunding the police in this general election," she said. "These were largely slogans or they were demands from activist groups."
Ocasio-Cortez Says Democrats Cant Blame Progressives For Losses in House Races youtu.be
Despite her complaints of GOP rhetoric, Ocasio-Cortez, who has consistently identified as a democratic socialist, famously demanded that New York defund its police just last summer, declaring "defunding police means defunding police."
In June, while criticizing New York City leadership, including fellow traveler Mayor Bill de Blasio, for alleged budget tricks and "funny math" during debates over funds for the NYPD, the lawmaker said:
Defunding police means defunding police. It does not mean tricks or funny math. It does not mean moving school police officers from the NYPD budget to the Department of Education's budget so that the exact same police remain in schools. It does not mean counting overtime cuts as cuts, even as NYPD ignores every attempt by City Council to curb overtime spending and overspends on overtime anyways. It does not mean hiring more police officers while cutting more than $800M from NYC schools. If these reports are accurate, then these proposed 'cuts' to NYPD's budget are a disingenuous illusion. This is not a victory. The fight to defund policing continues.
Ocasio-Cortez's comments came as de Blasio's plan called for about $1 billion in cuts to the NYPD.