This is New York. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has more than a few enemies within her own state party. Primary challengers were bound to pop up this cycle. She’s facing three right now, one of which is a former CNBC anchor. Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has gone on the attack against the left-wing Cortez, blasting her vote against the coronavirus relief package in April. Caruso-Cabrera, who was endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce, also took swipes at the congresswoman for being “MIA,” missing in action, all the time (via Fox News):
A House Democratic primary debate between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and former CNBC host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera became heated Monday when Caruso-Cabrera confronted the incumbent over what she described as misplaced priorities during the coronavirus pandemic.
The challenger specifically took issue with Ocasio-Cortez's decision to remain in Washington D.C. at "the height of the crisis."
"You stayed away in your apartment. AOC, you're always MIA," said Caruso-Cabrera, who also accused the freshman lawmaker of creating "huge division within" the House Democratic caucus.
Ocasio-Cortez fought back by accusing Carera-Cabruso of running a phony campaign and not actually caring about New York's 14th congressional district.
"This woman probably couldn't even find Sunnyside [Queens] on a map until she decided to challenge me for the sake of challenging me," Ocasio-Cortez added. "She doesn't care about the Bronx, she doesn't care about Queens. She cares about running for running.
"Greetings from Sunnyside, Queens," Caruso-Cabrera responded. "I love Sunnyside, Queens, I love New York. I wish I had been born in New York. Unfortunately, I wasn't. My opponent is the one that nobody ever sees in the district. Let me tell you, the second this crisis started, I started delivering food and I started delivering masks."
Why is @AOC always MIA? At the height of the crisis she stayed in her luxury DC apt w/ a @WholeFoods in the lobby & didn’t come home even tho Congress wasn’t in session. She did that for a week! Why on earth would you do that when there's a crisis going on here? & you’re the rep! pic.twitter.com/Q2duGFI3wg— Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (@MCaruso_Cabrera) May 20, 2020
Well, Caruso-Cabrera isn’t wrong about AOC sowing division within the Democratic Party. There are more than a few who consider her a “deadbeat” for not wanting to contribute her dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, opting instead to help boost her own fundraising network that gears towards progressivism. She and her ilk are not afraid to shoot inside the ship. AOC is not afraid to support insurgent candidates in Democratic primaries. Yet, it’s a love-hate relationship. Despite progressive insurgents mostly getting rolled up and down the ballot, AOC energizes the base. She’s brought in millions for candidates. She’s a force to be reckoned with no doubt. And for a time, there was a threat that her congressional seat could be dissolved. The 2020 census demands that New York nix one district. New York Democrats cannot stand her but leaving her with no district could mean putting the crosshairs on Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who is up for re-election in 2022. She would definitely primary him. Hell, she may still do so. For now, AOC has to win this primary.