Ousted Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) slammed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Thursday after she blamed the state’s party leadership for the Republican victories in the midterm elections.
Maloney, a Democratic powerhouse who lost to Republican challenger Michael Lawler, said Ocasio-Cortez failed to help the party during the midterm elections and claimed she had “almost nothing to do” with defending the party in the elections.
“The last time I ran into AOC, we were beating her endorsed candidate 2 to 1 in a primary, and I didn’t see her one minute of these midterms helping our House majority,” Maloney told the New York Times. “So I’m not sure what kind of advice she has, but I’m sure she’ll be generous with it. But let’s be clear, she had almost nothing to do with what turned out to be a historic defense of our majority. Didn’t pay a dollar of dues. Didn’t do anything for our front-line candidates except give them money when they didn’t want it from her.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded to Maloney’s criticism Thursday night, claiming that donating money to her fellow Democrats was the “first thing” she did in the current term.
“What I love about his claim that we gave front-line members ‘donations they didn’t want’: a) the VAST majority were good w/ early financial support to position themselves early b) for the few who didn’t want our help + got it, where do you think we got the $ info to give? DCCC,” she tweeted. “As for him ‘not seeing me’ — perhaps it’s because he as a party leader chose not to see nor value prominent members of his party for years. Either way, we will continue to organize & turn out undervalued + unseen communities in this country — whether the powerful like it or not.”
The criticisms come after Ocasio-Cortez lamented the seemingly “gutted” influence Democrats have in New York on Wednesday, arguing the state party leaders “must be accountable” for the gains Republicans made in the state on Tuesday. Ocasio-Cortez targeted New York Democratic Party President Jay Jacobs specifically, calling for his resignation.
“NYS Dem party leadership, which was gutted under [former Gov. Andrew] Cuomo, stuffed with lobbyists, works to boost GOP, and failed to pass a basic state ballot measure to protect NY redistricting, must be accountable,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “I called for Jay Jacobs resignation a year ago and I still hold that position.”
Maloney said that while he believes other voices should be heard, suburban voters “have clearly rejected the ideas that she’s most associated with, from defunding the police on down.”
She’s an important voice in our politics,” said Maloney. “But when it comes to passing our agenda through the Congress, or standing our ground on the political battlefield, she was nowhere to be found.”
Nearly every county in New York shifted toward the right when voting in the gubernatorial race compared to the 2020 election, according to election data analyzed by the New York Times. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, was able to fend off a challenge from Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), securing her first full term after taking office following former Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation last year, but Hochul’s race was closer than Democrats predicted it would be.