Former New York Gov. David Paterson, a Democrat, blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., this week, saying the congresswoman doesn't hold much influence within the Democratic Party, after AOC-endorsed state Assembly candidates lost to establishment Democrats in the New York primaries.
"AOC are just three letters in the alphabet," Paterson said in an interview on WABC radio's "CATS Roundtable," which ran Sunday, while adding that Ocasio-Cortez is a "phantom of the media."
Host John Catsimatidis pressed Paterson about the impact of far-left progressives in the Democratic Party, and if Ocasio-Cortez has the power to shape its future — now that state Assembly hopefuls Samy Nemir Olivares, Keron Alleyne, Illapa Sairitupac and Vanessa Agudelo, among others, have all lost to establishment Democrats.
Catsimatidis then asked if the defeats signaled "the rise and fall of AOC," to which Paterson sarcastically replied, "I don't know if there ever was a rise, John."
Paterson continued, "I think AOC, who defeated a congressman who was notably absent from his district a lot, so she outworked him and she beat him, and then she became this overnight, national success," said Paterson, referring to former Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y, losing to AOC in the June 2018 Democratic primary for the Queens and Bronx House seat.
"But really, there's no evidence that it had any coattails, not in this 2022 primary, but not even in the 2020 elections," Paterson said. "I think she is really a phantom of the media, the media projects her."
To reiterate his point, Paterson — the first legally blind governor in U.S. history (2008-10) — cited New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado as prime examples of why New Yorkers aren't lining up to support AOC-aligned politicians.
"If you look at the gubernatorial primary, Hochul got 66%, [New York City Public Advocate] Jumaane Williams gets 16%, and so she beat the progressive by 50 points, and the other 18% or so went to [moderate Democratic Rep.] Tom Suozzi," Paterson told Catsimatidis.
According to the New York Post, Ocasio-Cortez gave her stamp of approval to Williams' running mate Ana María Archila, but did not formally endorse a gubernatorial candidate.
Paterson also took one last shot at Ocasio-Cortez, saying she didn't deserve credit for deterring Amazon from building an East Coast headquarters in Long Island City, circa 2019.
"[AOC] was given credit for stopping Amazon from coming into New York. It had nothing to do with her," said Paterson. "It had to do with the legislators being angry that Governor [Andrew] Cuomo had never told them that he was negotiating with them, and took all the credit for himself."
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