Speed Reads

got some explaining to do

CNN's Chris Cuomo grills Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Nancy Pelosi and Medicare-for-all

New York congressional Democratic candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared on CNN on Wednesday night to discuss whether her socialist principles are really as popular as she thinks.

CNN's Chris Cuomo didn't hold back in pointing out that several of the candidates she backed in this week's primaries failed, noting that the ones "who did well were largely women and traditional Democrats, not the lefties that Bernie Sanders and acolyte Ocasio-Cortez backed." Despite the mixed results, Ocasio-Cortez said she felt "really good" about the outcomes, describing the losses as a way to "move the needle forward" on the issues she prioritizes.

By way of explanation, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to the pocketbook. "Money does win elections," she said. However, she declared, 74 percent of Democrats, even traditional Democrats, believe in Medicare-for-all. "We are winning hearts and minds," she said.

Ocasio-Cortez described Medicare-for-all as cheaper than the current health-care system, and condemned politicians who "only have empty pockets when it comes to the morally right things to do," while spending lavishly on the military. Rather than have "sticker shock" about socialized health care, she argued, people should realize how much the U.S. is already spending on funeral costs and reduced productivity because of untreated health issues.

Lastly, the candidate dodged when Cuomo asked whether she'd support House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, calling it a red herring to focus on one person rather than the issues of the party. "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves," she said, suggesting she'd decide later down the line. Cuomo wasn't persuaded. "I believe you," he said, "though it is vague and I also believe intentionally so." Watch the full interview below, via CNN. Summer Meza