AOC Calls Out Wall Street CEOs Trying to Unseat Her In Upcoming Primary

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has hit out at Wall Street investors for donating to her most prominent primary challenger, who is looking to unseat the progressive firebrand in the June 23 contest.

Former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, 53, has won the backing of the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce and multiple powerful Wall Street figures—including Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, according to The Financial Times—in her effort to defeat the 30-year-old freshman congresswoman.

Ocasio-Cortez warned her supporters Sunday they "CANNOT take this seat for granted," in a Facebook post urging people to vote. "Wall Street is pouring millions of dollars to unseat me in this Tuesday's election," Ocasio-Cortez said of the primary. "That's what happens when you put people before profit."

Caruso-Cabrera has gathered some $2 million in funding since announcing her campaign to unseat Ocasio-Cortez, who since entering the House of Representatives in 2019 has become one of the most prominent progressive politicians in Washington. This has also made her a prime target for Republicans, including President Donald Trump.

But Caruso-Cabrera's budget is still lagging far behind that of the incumbent, which is currently worth more than $10.5 million.

Caruso-Cabrera was a registered Republican until 2015 and has previously described herself as a "centralist." In 2010, she published a book called You Know I'm Right: More Prosperity, Less Government, which promoted fiscal conservatism and free markets.

She is trying to peel away moderate Democratic and independent voters who might be uncomfortable with Ocasio-Cortez's more progressive proposals, including the Green New Deal, higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans, and her support for the movement to "defund" the police in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

In a recent interview on New York's AM 970 radio station, Caruso-Cabrera defined herself as "pro-choice, I'm pro-same-sex marriage, I'm very pro-immigrant, I am centrist for sure." When she announced her candidacy, Caruso-Cabrera said she is "the daughter and granddaughter of working-class Italian and Cuban immigrants."

"I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I've had," she added. "That's why I'm running."

The former journalist has gathered support from both Democratic and Republican supporters, something Ocasio-Cortez was keen to pick up on. "It's not surprising that Republicans would finance the campaign of a life-long Republican in a Democratic primary," she told The Financial Times.

"While we have pushed against corporate power with policies that favor everyday working Americans, those donors prefer to bankroll a candidate who answers to Wall Street over the needs of our constituents."

AOC, Wall Street, primary, challenge, New York
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer during a press conference in the Corona neighbourhood of Queens on April 14, 2020 in New York City. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images/Getty