Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has already made history as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Now she's making waves on Capitol Hill—and within the Democratic party itself.
Shortly after the election, she rallied a group of climate change activists who were holding a sit-in outside Democratic party leader Nancy Pelosi's office. Then, hours after being sworn in on January 3, she was one of only three Democrats in the House to vote "no" on a resolution setting out new House rules, which had been carefully negotiated by the entire Democratic caucus.
Anderson Cooper asked Ocasio-Cortez if she is afraid of making enemies in Congress.
"I genuinely do not think of politics in the world in terms of enemies or allies, or, like, permanent enemies or permanent allies," she said in the video above. "I also think of things in terms of issues, and I always think … what is our goal? What are we trying to accomplish, and who has aligned interests in getting that one thing done?"
Ocasio-Cortez told Cooper she holds no animosity toward House Democrats who endorsed her opponent, ten-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, in last year's primary election. She also hopes the House Democrats whose opponents she supported in the primaries won't hold a grudge against her, either.
"I've moved on because I think one of the biggest problems we have in D.C. is that everyone's egos are too big," she said.
When it comes to making concessions on Capitol Hill, Ocasio-Cortez told Cooper she's willing to compromise. But she thinks the Democrats have gone too far in their give-and-take with Republicans.
"My personal opinion, and I know that my district and my community feel this way as well, is that we as a party have compromised too much, and we've lost too much of who we're supposed to be and who we are," Ocasio-Cortez said. She cited as examples compromising on climate change and ceding judicial appointments to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
In looking ahead to her Congressional future, Ocasio-Cortez told Cooper the worst-possible situation is that she's not elected to another term.
"Let's say I'm only in Congress for two years," she said. "If we can radically change the conversation, then we can potentially accomplish more in two years than many people are able to shape the conversation in ten."
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The video above was originally published on January 6, 2019 and was produced by Brit McCandless Farmer and Sarah Shafer Prediger. It was edited by Sarah Shafer Prediger.