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AOC rips Kyrsten Sinema for ditching Dems, making party switch

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) berated Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) on Friday for her decision to leave the Democratic Party, arguing that voters in Arizona “deserve more.” 

“Not once in this long soliloquy does Sinema offer a single concrete value or policy she believes in. She lays out no goals for Arizonans, no vision, no commitments,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a tweet in response to Sinema’s Twitter announcement that she’s registering as an independent. 

“It’s ‘no healthcare, just vibes’ for Senate” the progressive lawmaker added.

“People deserve more. Grateful this race & nomination has opened up,” Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet concluded.

The centrist Sinema has been a member of the Democratic caucus since entering the Senate in 2019. Throughout her tenure, she has helped derail several pieces of legislation backed by the party’s rank-and-file members, including the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill.

“Nothing will change about my values or my behavior,” Sinema insisted in an interview with Politico. 

The Arizona Democratic Party ripped Sinema on Friday, accusing her of “leaving Arizonans behind.”

Sen. Kyrtsen Sinema
Getty Images

“Senator Sinema may now be registered as an Independent, but she has shown she answers to corporations and billionaires, not Arizonans. Senator Sinema’s party registration means nothing if she continues to not listen to her constituents,” a statement from the state party read. 

Progressive Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), a possible future Senate challenger to Sinema, chastised her for “once again putting her own interests ahead of getting things done for Arizonans.”

Ocasio-Cortez has taken public swipes against Sinema in the past, telling MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan in January that she hadn’t seen a “compelling case” for why Sinema should be re-nominated for the Senate. 

“I don’t believe she’s really given a compelling case as to why she should be re-nominated as the Democratic nominee for United States Senate in Arizona,” the New York rep said at the time. 

Ruben Gallego

“She has proven herself an obstacle to the right to vote in the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “She is not an ally on civil rights. It is becoming a precipice and rather contributing to the threat that we have in stabilizing our democracy. She is not standing up to corporate interests, in fact, she is a profound ally to them. And I believe that, you know, she is not doing what voters in Arizona sent her to do.” 

Last year, Ocasio-Cortez also criticized Sinema’s support for keeping the Senate filibuster rules in place, arguing that passing laws by a simple majority works “fine” in several countries. 

“Political systems all across the country, I mean all across the world, pass legislation with majorities and they’re fine, and frankly, here’s the thing, is that Democratic legislation, once enacted, is popular,” the New York Democrat said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” in June 2021.

“Our job is to legislate. Our job is to help people. Our job is to do as much as we can. And even if that’s the case wouldn’t it be better to get people health care and voting rights for three years instead of zero years,” she added.