Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored an improbable primary win over high-ranking Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), and CNN's Poppy Harlow demanded answers.
The 28-year-old Democratic Socialist made the rounds Wednesday morning to explain her long-shot win over the 10-term incumbent, and Harlow asked her bluntly: "Why did you win?"
"We won because we organized," Ocasio-Cortez said. "We won because I think we had a very clear winning message and we took that message to doors that had never been knocked on before."
"We spoke to communities that had typically been, I think, dismissed, and they responded," she added. "When people feel like they are being spoken directly to, I do feel like they'll do things like turn out in an off-year, midyear primary."
Harlow said the candidate was "clearly" accusing her party of dismissing and ignoring "factions of society," and she asked Ocasio-Cortez to specify which voters she meant.
"I think what we really need to talk about it is we need to reach out to young people, people we think are usually nonvoters, communities of color, people who speak English as a second language, working-class people, people with two jobs that usually are too busy, quote-unquote, to vote," Ocasio-Cortez said. "People that have never voted before."
Harlow tried again.
"But is the Democratic Party not doing that?" she said. "Is that what you're saying?"
Ocasio-Cortez fended off the loaded question and praised candidates she believes are doing things right.
"I think that here in New York, the historical wisdom is to go after your triple primes," she said, "Nationally I think there are probably some folks doing good work and some exciting candidates like Ayanna Pressley out in Massachusetts doing that work, but here in New York and here in this district, I feel like it wasn't being done."
Harlow asked whether Ocasio-Cortez saw herself as a Democrat or a progressive.
"I'm proud to be a Democrat, I was raised in a Democratic family with Democratic values," Ocasio-Cortez said. "But it also means that the Democratic Party is a big tent and there are so many ways to be a Democrat."
"We won because I think we had a very clear winning message and we took that message to doors that had never been k… https://t.co/EuVp0GC002— CNN Newsroom (@CNN Newsroom) 1530105249.0