- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said her help wasn't wanted in the high-stakes Virginia governor race.
- Republican Glenn Youngkin won the race, which some considered a test of the Democrats' strength.
- "I think it's just sad. I think it was a mistake," Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said her help was not enlisted in the high-stakes Virginia gubernatorial race this month, which Democrat Terry McAuliffe lost to Republican Glenn Youngkin.
"Before the Virginia elections, it was very clear that our help and our participation was not wanted or asked for, which is fine," the progressive New York congresswoman told The New York Times in an interview published Sunday.
She said some House members with close relationships to their political base are viewed as a "liability," presumably referring to progressive Democrats who centrists have argued actually hurt the party.
"I think it's just sad. I think it was a mistake," she said. "And we saw a big youth turnout collapse. Not a single person asked me to send an email, not even to my own list."
She continued: "And then they turn around and say, 'It's their fault.' When I think it was communicated quite expressly that we were unwelcome to pitch in."
Some centrist Democrats have blamed progressive messaging, such as defunding the police, for electoral losses. Meanwhile, progressives have argued centrists aren't doing enough on-the-ground, grassroots campaigning.
The Virginia governor's race was seen as the biggest test of President Joe Biden and the Democratic party's strength since winning back the White House in November 2020 and the Senate in January.
Ocasio-Cortez also told The Times that trust between progressive and centrist Democrats will be totally broken if the $2 trillion social-spending bill does not pass.