Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is aware of Why She's a 'Lightning Rod': Trump Wants One other Girl to 'Vilify,' She Says


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez anticipated to grow to be a “lightning rod” for conservatives, she informed MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Friday throughout a taped discuss her Inexperienced New Deal — an expansive legislative proposal to battle local weather change and social inequality that’s controversial even amongst a few of her fellow Democrats.

However, Ocasio-Cortez informed Hayes, she didn’t anticipate this quantity of anger.

“ is subsequent stage,” the 29-year-old democratic socialist from New York Metropolis informed Hayes throughout their speak, which was recorded in her dwelling borough of the Bronx.

Ocasio-Cortez, higher often called “AOC,” didn’t appear fazed by the rancor, together with from President Donald Trump‘s household and Fox Information pundits. She dismissed it as a lot scorching air.

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“I didn’t count on them to make complete fools of themselves,” she informed Hayes. “I anticipated a bit extra nuance.”

A younger, feminine Latina lawmaker who’s unabashedly progressive — to the left of most different members of Congress — Ocasio-Cortez has been a favourite goal of the fitting. She was an unknown in 2017. Final month she was on the quilt of TIME.

Among the reproval is policy-based. However plenty of it’s about her picture, model and persona. And, like several politician with a fast-rising profile, her errors (large, small and insignificant) are seized upon.

Ocasio-Cortez will not be shy about responding: in interviews, in Congress and on Twitter, the place she has greater than three million followers. Based on one latest research, she instructions a social media attain second solely to Trump.

Most not too long ago, on Monday, she exchanged antagonistic tweets with Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, eldest daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. (She beforehand swapped phrases with Ivanka Trump, a senior aide to the president.)

In her interview with Hayes, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the targets behind her proposed Inexperienced New Deal, which is supported by presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.

“Traditionally talking, we’ve mobilized our complete economic system round conflict. However I believed to myself, It doesn’t need to be that approach, particularly when our best existential risk is local weather change,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned. “So to get us out of this case, to revamp our economic system, to create dignified jobs for working People, to ensure well being care and elevate our academic alternatives and attainment, we should mobilize our complete economic system round saving ourselves and taking good care of this planet.”

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It’s a giant, daring plan — which suggests it has an unsure future in Congress, the place boldness and scope extra typically stoke controversy, not consensus.

On March 28, Donald Trump Jr., one in all his father’s high surrogates, attacked Ocasio-Cortez and the proposal throughout his father’s marketing campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, based on the Washington Submit.

“Take into consideration the truth that each mainstream, main Democratic contender is taking the recommendation of a freshman congresswoman who three weeks in the past didn’t know the three branches of presidency,” Don Jr. mentioned. “I don’t learn about you guys, however that’s fairly scary.”

When members within the crowd shouted “AOC sucks!” Don Jr. smiled, based on the Submit.

“You guys, you’re not very good,” he mentioned. “And neither is what that coverage would do to this nation.”

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Talking with reporters at Friday’s taping, Ocasio-Cortez addressed the Trump rally chants.

“You understand that is a part of a sample that the fitting and the far-right and, frankly, the president is according to,” she mentioned. “He doesn’t have one other lady, Hillary Clinton or whoever else, to vilify anymore, so they should discover one other lady to type of prop up and grow to be a lightning rod.”

(At one level through the taping, when an viewers member referred to as Republican Rep. Bob Ingliss a “moron,” Ocasio-Cortez was fast to close down the heckler. “And that’s the distinction between me and Trump,” she mentioned.)

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Ocasio-Cortez pointed towards the invitation from a Republican colleague, Rep. Andy Barr, for her to go to coal mines in his dwelling state of Kentucky. She mentioned sure.

“To borrow from one in all my colleague’s phrases, ‘You possibly can’t hate up shut,’ ” she mentioned on Friday. “And in order that’s why I’m excited to not solely come again dwelling to my district however to take up Congressman Barr’s invitation to go to the coal mines in Kentucky, as a result of I feel that one of many ways in which we are able to fight that’s displaying those who we’re preventing for them too.”

The freshman lawmaker isn’t afraid to take a divisive stance on points — that’s a part of the explanation she ran, she defined.

“How I really feel is that I’ll, at any given time, do the factor that I feel can create probably the most good and probably the most alternative for good,” Ocasio-Cortez informed Hayes after he requested her about her future plans. “And that might imply that I’m in workplace for 2 years, and I simply take big political dangers for the subsequent two years and so they kick me out of there as a result of they notice I don’t belong there — or it may imply that I’m there longer.”

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