Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “All In ” that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) does not understand that Republican-led state legislatures new election laws are an assault on democracy that needs a national answer like the For the People Act because she argued he has constituents whose voting rights have never been challenged.
Ocasio-Cortez said, “I think that those of us and those Democrats who really acknowledge the existential threat and the assault on the right to vote and really, when I say “recognize it,” I mean they’re putting the pieces together between what the Republican Party is doing on the state level and the assaults on the right to vote in Georgia, Texas, Arizona, really across the state. And across the country. And how that is being pieced together federally with this idea that we cannot pass legislation to protect the right to vote because those who are attacking it won’t vote to protect it.”
She added, “So there’s an enormous amount of alarm for those of us here who believe that our country is still in a very vulnerable place, post-Donald Trump, that we are just hanging on a thread of democracy, and it’s our responsibility right now with utmost urgency to really strengthen a lot of our democratic institutions that were taken very much to the brink during the Trump administration, which culminated on January 6 … I think there’s just some folks that have unwavering faith in American institutions that really don’t have a lot of evidence for why our institutions would not be vulnerable. We saw what happened on January 6, and it’s really important for folks to connect this to January 6. The reason those people stormed the Capitol was because of the lawsuits, because of all of this doubt, because of the election challenges, because voter suppression made a lot of races closer than they should have been. I think, you know, your assessment is correct, that there’s majority I think, are quite concerned, but I think there are some members that, you know, represent communities that have never really had their right to vote attacked in a way. They don’t represent communities for which this is a very real threat. So I think they don’t think it is as real as it very much is.”
Hayes said, “Is that a Joe Manchin-type reference there?”
Ocasio-Cortez said, “Oh, I think Joe Manchin is absolutely one of them. Joe Manchin represents a state that isn’t diverse. He doesn’t represent a very large population of black voters whose right to vote is constantly under attack. So I can’t help but wonder aloud. I see this as well and in the House of Representatives. How there usually is hesitancy, or it’s a little bit more of a debate when a member has to take out a risky vote on a community that they don’t represent. So that representation and that plight isn’t as internalized. I think people think for whom the right to vote hasn’t been under attack, that this is something that is overblown when it very much is not.”
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