Former President Barack Obama opined that socialist Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) should get more exposure from the Democratic party even as he warned them to focus less on using the word “socialism.”
Obama made the comments during a interview with Vanity Fair contributor Peter Hamby released on Wednesday.
He was talking about the success of the Democratic National Committee when he appeared to criticize the party for not giving the firebrand socialist more airtime.
“The Democratic National Convention I thought was really successful considering the pandemic, and really used technology wisely,” Obama claimed.
“But, you know, the fact that an AOC only got, what, three minutes or five minutes? When she speaks to a broad section of young people who are interested in what she has to say, even if they don’t agree with everything she says?” he added.
“You give her a platform, just like there may be some other young Democrats who come from more conservative areas who have a different point of view,” Obama continued. “New blood is always good. And I say that as somebody who used to be the young, shiny cool guy. But now is the gray-haired old grizzled vet.”
In a separate part of the interview he explained why some Democrats were shying away from using the word “socialism” in their political platforms.
“Socialism is still a loaded term for a lot of folks,” Obama said. “Once again, instead of talking labels and ideology, we should focus on talking about getting certain things done.”
Ironically, Ocasio-Cortez and the other progressive members of the “squad” of congressional Democrats had lashed out at Obama and other Democrats who had cautioned against using far left rhetoric that might scare voters away.
“The thing that critics of activists don’t get is that they tried playing the ‘polite language’ policy game and all it did was make them easier to ignore,” she said in a tweet.
“It wasn’t until they made folks uncomfortable that there was traction to do ANYTHING even if it wasn’t their full demands,” she added.