In her first Sunday morning show appearance since taking office in January, New York Democrat Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez warned that there is "very real risk" President Trump will win re-election in 2020, and acknowledged that progressive frustration with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also "quite real."
The comments struck an unusually defensive tone for the 29-year-old progressive firebrand, as Democrats seek to winnow their large list of 23 presidential contenders. Occasio Cortez also spoke bluntly on her initiative to abolish the Hyde Amendment, which bars most federal funding for the abortion – and 2020's Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden's abrupt reversal on the issue earlier this month
"I think we have a very real risk of losing the presidency to Donald Trump if we do not have a presidential candidate that is fighting for a true transformational change in the lives of working people in the United States, "said Jonathan Ocasio-Cortez to ABC News," This Week " Sunday.
"I think that if we elect a president on half-measures that the American people do not quite understand ̵
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Ocasio-Cortez said she did not see herself endorsing a very real risk of losing the presidency.
Responding to a NBC News poll showing growing support for an impeachment inquiry, Ocasio-Cortez called an impeachment investigation and a "constitutional responsibility." That has prompted Karl to press Ocasio-Cortez on reports that progressive Democrats are frustrated with Pelosi, D-Calif., Who has resisted calls for impeachment proceedings
"I think it's quite real," Ocasio-Cortez. "I believe that there is a very real animus and desire to make sure that we are – that – we are holding this president to account."
A growing progressive anger has also been targeted by Biden, who said earlier this month he could "no longer support" the Hyde Amendment, which he had backed for decades.
The Hyde Amendment prevents the government from providing an abortion funding
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Last week , an abortion activist questioning Biden on his Hyde Amendment flip-flop said the former vice president got into the activist's face and attempted an arm grab. "I thought it was going to hit me," the activist said, after posting a brief viral video and photo of the encounter.
The activist also noted the numerous accusations by other women that Biden has made them uncomfortable in close personal encounters .
"In each poll, and plurality of Americans opposes public funding of abortions."
The Biden campaign did not respond to Fox News's request for comment on this matter. Ocasio-Cortez, asked whether Biden has handled the misconduct accusations appropriately, told Karl, "I think that's something that he has to kind of show the electorate, I think that, I know, I think that's an issue where there is and fight, I'll be completely honest. "
She continued:" I do not think that he has – I do not – I would not say that it is an incredibly severe – like I don
Ocasio-Cortez also said Democrats "probably" made a mistake by not pushing back on Bill Clinton's treatment of women during his presidency, but
"It's not the 70's anymore," Ocasio-Cortez said in an email to backers on Saturday, building support for the abolition of the Hyde Amendment. "This is 2019, and none of our leaders should be willing to stand by a policy that disproportionately harms low-income Americans and people of color just to suit the interests of anti-choice zealots. (19659003) On Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez said Biden's new stance on the Hyde Amendment was the bare minimum for a Democrat candidate in 2020. As recently as the last presidential cycle, the Hyde Amendment enjoyed mostly bipartisan support
"Well, I'm encouraged by the fact that he's now against the Hyde Amendment. – I think it's a very basic level where all candidates need to be, "said Ocasio-Cortez to Karl. "I'm excited to introduce the abolition of the Hyde Amendment through the amendment – we will see where it goes – for incarcerated women and the maternal and reproductive health care of incarcerated women is – it should be guaranteed as it is "
Ocasio-Cortez continued:" We're talking about 50, 51 percent of the American public, and I think it really depends – and that's what the Hyde Amendment is about. "
But Democrats risk overplaying their hand on the issue, analysts warn, even as an increasing number of conservative-dominated states pass aggressive pro-life measures. A recent article in Slate by William Saletan, titled "Abortion Funding Is Not As Popular As Democrats Think: Recent Polls Discussing What Progressives Believe,"
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"In every poll, and plurality of Americans oppose public funding of abortions," Saletan wrote. "In every poll but one, that plurality is a majority."
Saletan concluded that while most Americans generally agree with Democrats on the issue of abortion and do not support defunct abortion clinics, the recent progressive push goes too far. 19659003] "On the question of direct payments [for abortion]," Saletan wrote, "most voters agree with the GOP.
Nevertheless, last week Illinois enacted and sweeping pro-choice law that eliminated the consent of the consenting, waiting periods, criminal penalties for abortion providers and restrictions on abortion facilities, such as licensing requirements and health and safety inspections. It also abolished the state's Abortion Ban Act and established that "a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law of this state."
The Thomas More Society, a pro-life law based firm in Chicago, has declared the bill tantamount to "legalizing the death penalty, with no possibility of appeal, for viable unborn preemies."
Caleb Parke contributed to this report