WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the party can be "too big of a tent," and distanced herself ideologically from 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying they would not be part of the same political party in another country.
The face of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party told New York Magazine in an interview published Monday that centrist Democrats are the "tea party of the left."
She said members of the Democratic majority in Congress are too focused on the concerns of voters in districts that have historically been Republican and are currently represented by moderate Democrats. But her presence in Congress, the New York representative said, has allowed for more "dissent" from moderate views.
“For so long, when I first got in, people were like, ‘Oh, are you going to basically be a tea party of the left?’ And what people don’t realize is that there is a tea party of the left, but it’s on the right edges, the most conservative parts of the Democratic Party," Ocasio-Cortez said.
She said the Congressional Progressive Caucus allows “anybody who the cat dragged in to call themselves a progressive. There’s no standard."
When asked how she would fit into Congress during a potential Biden presidency, Ocasio-Cortez replied with a groan, "Oh, God."
“In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are," she said.
Ocasio-Cortez has endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, for the Democratic nomination, as have Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, two other members of the so-called "squad" of progressive women of color in Congress.
"Many other countries have multiparty democracies, where several parties come together in a coalition to govern," Ocasio-Cortez added in a tweet later Monday.
"In our current primary field, some people treat healthcare as a right, and others don’t. Doesn’t make you enemies, it makes you different," she tweeted. "Abroad, being in diff parties doesn’t mean you dislike each other. It means you acknowledge your differences and come together in coalition."
In our current primary field, some people treat healthcare as a right, and others don’t. Doesn’t make you enemies, it makes you different.
Abroad, being in diff parties doesn’t mean you dislike each other. It means you acknowledge your differences and come together in coalition.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 6, 2020
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Representatives for Biden's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Biden in the past has maintained that the Democratic Party as a whole is more moderate, and expressed caution about far-left policies like those put forth by Ocasio-Cortez, saying that Democratic voters are more "center-left" and not "way left."
Prior to endorsing Sanders or Biden's official entry into the race, Ocasio-Cortez affirmed that she would support whoever the eventual Democratic nominee for president is, but that a Biden bid for president did "not particularly animate" her.
"I can understand why people would be excited by that, this idea that we can go back to the good old days with Obama, with Obama’s vice president," she said earlier this year. "There’s an emotional element to that, but I don’t want to go back. I want to go forward."
Ocasio-Cortez told New York Magazine that she hopes Democrats will focus on flipping red districts in the long run, rather than assuming they will always stay red.
"Everyone in the House is just constantly thinking about self-preservation, and we don’t get nice things because people are constantly thinking in electoral terms," Ocasio-Cortez said. "The way we change that is through political education."
“As a consequence of my victory, many people are inspired to run for office, and in a body where 70 percent of the seats are safe red or safe blue, that de facto means a lot more primaries," Ocasio-Cortez said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez distances from Joe Biden, centrist Democrats