Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said she fears for her life as a member of Congress, saying she can rarely relax in public and is concerned even walking from her car to her front door.
The New York congresswoman, 33, told CNN‘s Chris Wallace that the attack on Paul Pelosi only heightened her concern.
Pelosi, 82, had his skull fractured when an intruder broke into the San Francisco home he shares with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at 2:30am.
Ocasio-Cortez has been open about seeking therapy after the January 6 riot, and told The New York Times this fall that her office struggles to keep up with ‘astronomical’ amount of threats she receives each day.
When asked if she feels like her life is in danger, she responded: ‘Absolutely, I felt that my life has been in danger since the moment that I won my primary election in 2018.
‘And it became especially intensified when I was first brought into Congress in 2019.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 33, told Chris Wallace that she felt her life had been in danger since she first joined Congress following the 2018 elections
The New York congresswoman said there was a threat every time she walked from her car to her front door
Ocasio-Cortez is pictured on October 25, 2020, with her French Bulldog, Deco and her boyfriend Riley Roberts
Ocasio-Cortez is pictured with Deco at a Halloween celebration in New York City last year
‘It is a very real dynamic and very unfortunately and tragically we’ve seen political violence play out,’ she told Wallace, in an episode of his chat show which aired on Friday on HBO Max.
She added: ‘When I wake up in the morning, I hesitate to walk my dog.
‘It means when I come home, I have to ask my fiancé to come out to where my car is to walk me just from my car to my front door.’
‘It means that there’s just – a general disposition where you kind of feel like there’s almost a static electricity around you.
‘And you’re just always just looking around, your head is just on a swivel, going to a restaurant, walking down the street.’
The Tesla-driving former barmaid turned congresswoman, said she did not agree with the movement to make the Democrats more of a centrist party, and move away from the progressive politics she promotes.
She denied she was an extremist.
‘It’s important for us to dig into the substance of what that actually means,’ she told Wallace.
‘As someone who is often characterized as ‘extreme,’ I, of course, would object to that.
‘I do not believe that I am extreme in the way that Marjorie Taylor Greene on the Republican side is extreme.’
She said she felt her policies were not on the same level as Taylor Greene’s.
The Congresswoman is seen with her boyfriend Riley Roberts in November 2018, shortly after winning the election
‘The idea that there is an equating of someone who believes in guaranteed universal health care in the United States with someone who believes that undocumented people should incur physical harm – are somehow in the same level of extreme – is something that I would object to,’ she said.
The 33-year-old said that she knows her progressive politics have made her a target, and as a result she has evolved to make her work ‘as robust and urgent as possible.’
She added: ‘I don’t want to take the time I have for granted. I don’t know if I’m going to be there to see us achieve guaranteed health care in the United States.
‘So I need to advocate it in a very fully throated way right now,’ she said.
‘Similar to a full path to citizenship for millions of people in this country. I just have to be out and say it and at least leave a roadmap should I not be there.’
She also hinted that she would not support Joe Biden running for a second term, and said she wanted a different type of Democrat to run in 2024.
‘I do believe we need to have not just generational shifts, but potentially substantive shifts as well,’ she said.
‘I think that and I hope that what we’ve seen, whether people think it’s too left or too right, or up or down or whatever, it may be that we shift in a direction where the leadership of the Democratic Party is less reliant on large and corporate donors and sponsorship, because that does have a shaping effect of our legislative priorities.’