President Donald Trump said he knew political novice Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would beat fellow New Yorker Joe Crowley, a prominent Trump critic who was seen as a possible future Democratic House speaker until his upset primary loss.
“So I’m watching television and I see this young woman on television and I say, ‘who’s that?’” Trump said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office. “Oh, she’s campaigning against Joe. You know who Joe is, right? Queens. Crowley. So, I say, ah, let me just watch her for a second. Wonderful thing, TiVo. So you go back. Hah. Tell him he’s going to lose.”
“Now, I don’t agree with her views. Her views are terrible,” he added.
Trump prides himself on reading the electorate better than experts he often derides for having missed his own political rise. He’s insisted that a “red wave” will lead to Republicans holding onto control of both chambers of Congress in November, rejecting polling that shows Democrats likely to win the House.
But in June, Trump said on Twitter that Ocasia-Cortez’s win was “a big one that nobody saw happening.”
Her surprise win — Ocasia-Cortez worked for Senator Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign and identifies as a Democratic socialist — was a sign of how the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is becoming more mainstream. She has emerged as a prominent voice on the left and deployed her sudden star power to endorse other Democratic primary winners, including Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota.
The shift was underscored further this week when Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum won the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, setting up a clash with Trump favorite Ron DeSantis, who won the GOP primary. Ocasio-Cortez has focused on another upcoming race next week, endorsing Ayanna Pressley’s challenge to incumbent Democratic Representative Mike Capuano in Massachusetts.
The president made another political prediction for his home state on Thursday: Governor Andrew Cuomo will beat actress Cynthia Nixon in his Sept. 13 primary, Trump said. He also said John James, a Trump-endorsed Republican seen as a longshot in his Senate race against Michigan incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow, is “going to be very interesting.”
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