Election 2020

Crowley on Loss to Ocasio-Cortez: No 'Shortage of White Men in the Democratic Caucus'

Reps. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) hold a press conference in the Capitol on July 25, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), who lost his primary race to newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said the success of women and minorities in this campaign cycle is a good thing.

At the House Dems’ weekly news conference on Capitol Hill today, Crowley was asked by a reporter “if you feel there’s still a place for the white man in the Democratic Caucus.”

“I think if you look at the Democratic Caucus overall, it’s more reflective of the American people: has been, always has been, always will be,” he replied. “But I think of what happened last week in Massachusetts, what happened in my district… we have more women running for Congress, more scientists, more veterans than in the history of — I believe, in probably the history of our caucus — are running for Congress today.”

“So I’m actually very proud of the fact that there will be more women in Congress. So I think that’s going to happen, for sure. And I think it’s good for our country, as well,” he added.

Crowley said “particularly black women” have been “the backbone of our party for many years.”

“And we look at the contributions that they made, for instance, in Alabama. It’s enormous, to send a Democrat from Alabama to the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Senate. That was an enormous feat, and I think they had so much to do with that,” he said of African-American women who turned out to vote for Doug Jones over Roy Moore in the special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ seat.

“I believe there’ll be more opportunities for women, and for women of color in the years to come within our party,” the chairman said. “And I hope that’s the same for Republicans, although I’m not holding my breath.”

“What about white men?” the reporter asked.

“We have plenty of white men in our caucus,” Crowley replied. “I haven’t counted lately, but I think we probably still have the plurality, you know, so I don’t think there’s a shortage of white men in the Democratic Caucus.”

“On a personal note, you know, I would have loved to have stayed, but at the same time, I look at the future, and I think it’s bright for the Democratic Caucus. And I think it’s good for the progress of America, as well, that the Congress is more reflective of the people of the country.”

The reporter kept pressing: “How much of your loss do you attribute to your being a white male?”

“I think there are many factors that contributed to that,” Crowley said. “And as I’ve said before, you know, the loss of the primary’s on me… as I’ve said in the past, of course, I was disappointed.”