AOC Won’t Rule Out Challenging Schumer in 2022 Senate Primary

'I’m still very much in a place where I’m trying to decide what is the most effective thing I can do to help our Congress...'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-N.Y., would not rule out a 2022 primary challenge against Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., even though Democratic leaders are warning her not to.

“I’m not playing coy or anything like that. I’m still very much in a place where I’m trying to decide what is the most effective thing I can do to help our Congress, our [political] process, and our country actually address the issues of climate change, health care, wage inequality, etc.,” she said in a recent interview.

Asked whether her decision would be determined by how well congressional Democrats perform in the 2022 mid-term elections, Ocasio–Cortez said, “I’m not sure about that either. For me, I don’t make these decisions based on these short-term factors.”

Ocasio–Cortez said that when she thinks about her political future, she thinks far past a two-year time frame.

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“If I want to have a child, I would want my child—or my nieces or nephews—to have guaranteed health care by the time they’re my age. And freedom from want.” she added. “I’m also very indecisive.”

Ocasio–Cortez said that she has a good, “open” relationship with Schumer, and that they “speak to each other regularly.”

But she said that would be “a hard thing to say” whether Schumer is doing a satisfactory job as the Senate’s minority leader.

“We’ve had to deal with a fascist president and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell,” she said. “There’s this thing, ‘Are we doing a good job?’ There are things you can do in the minority. There are also things you couldn’t do with this minority because Senate rules changed.”

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The chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee recently warned Ocasio–Cortez against challenging Schumer in 2022, predicting that Ocasio–Cortez would “absolutely” lose to Schumer.

“I think it would be a primary driven by ambition more than by need,” state party boss Jay Jacobs said.

“Chuck Schumer has been a progressive force in the state for decades,” he continued. Ocasio–Cortez,” however, “has a constituency that admires her and supports her, and they’re in her community, and I think it would be a loss for them if she were to do that.”

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