Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Tuesday that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "represents the future of our party." Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, ousted Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), in the Democratic primary for New York's 14th Congressional district last week. In an interview with radio host Bill Press, Perez praised her "spirited campaign" and relayed the "excitement" his daughters had in response to Ocasio-Cortez's victory.
BILL PRESS, HOST: In New York, the fourth most powerful Democrat in the United States Congress, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY), was knocked out by a young woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28-years-old, never ran for office before. Big progressive, calls herself a democratic socialist, actually, like Bernie Sanders did -- she was a Bernie Sanders supporter -- and in Maryland, Ben Jealous, another strong progressive wins the Democratic nomination for governor.
What does this tell you about where the Democratic party is going today?
TOM PEREZ, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, my daughters -- I have three kids, two of whom are daughters. One just graduated college, one who is in college, and they were both texting me about their excitement over Alexandria because she really -- she represents the future of our party. She ran a spirited campaign.
I have great respect for Joe Crowley. Joe Crowley is a good Democrat. He was one of the sponsors of the 'Medicare For All' bill. He's fought the good fight. And when he realized he wasn't going to win he exited with such dignity, got on his guitar and played 'Born to Run,' as a tribute to Alexandria.
I was out stumping last weekend for Ben Jealous. We had a unity event in Maryland. Ben. There are 24 counties in Maryland, Ben won 22 of the 24 counties. And the 2 counties he didn't win, he will win overwhelmingly in November.