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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she and others are "extraordinarily" disappointed by Democrats losing their majority in the House — despite the fact that the party actually maintained control of the lower chamber.
During a virtual town hall meeting Thursday night, a constituent asked Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to weigh in on Democrats' spate of down-ballot losses in the 2020 election.
“So, you know, of course, the loss of the House majority is just extraordinarily upsetting to all of us,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It’s upsetting to all of us who are invested in having a Democratic majority so that we can expand health care, so that we can raise wages, so that we can protect working people."
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Democrats held a 35-seat advantage in the House before the election; but after a better-than-expected performance by down-ballot Republicans, their majority will shrink by at least seven seats, making it one of the thinnest margins in decades.
While some races have not yet been called, Democrats control at least 219 seats, one more than the 218 needed to achieve the majority.
Ocasio-Cortez did not appear to recognize her mistake.
"It’s also personal personally very difficult because to lose these people, you know, many of them are my colleagues, and I’m proud to call many of them my friends, and the idea that they may not be returning next term, or that they aren’t returning next term, is extremely difficult on both just a personal and a policy and a political level," she continued.
PELOSI REFUSES TO TAKE BLAME FOR DEM ELECTION LOSSES: 'I ACCEPT CREDIT FOR WINNING THE MAJORITY'
In the weeks since the election, Democrats have traded blame over who's ultimately responsible for the lackluster showing, in which the party lost a number of freshmen representatives who won during the 2018 midterm election, partly by reaching into districts that Trump had won in 2016.
Moderates have pointed fingers at their colleagues who embraced the "defund the police movement" and for not pushing back harder against socialism.
But progressives, led by the four congresswomen known as the "Squad," including Ocasio-Cortez, have argued those liberal policies help to galvanize the party's core base and are popular among the general electorate.
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Ocasio-Cortez has leveled some of the fiercest criticism at moderate candidates, previously calling some who lost their races "sitting ducks" by failing to organize on a grassroots level.
"If you’re not door-knocking, if you’re not on the Internet, if your main points of reliance are TV and mail, then you’re not running a campaign on all cylinders. I just don’t see how anyone could be making ideological claims when they didn’t run a full-fledged campaign," she said during an interview with The New York Times.
During a press conference last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to take responsibility for Democrats losses in the election, a night in which her caucus expected to see big wins but instead suffered some surprising defeats.
"I accept credit for winning the majority and holding the House," Pelosi told reporters during a Capitol Hill press conference.
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