‘He’s certainly given a voice to it and expanded it and created a platform for those things…’
(AFP) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s surprise victory during Democratic primaries in June over Joseph Crowley has made her a key figure of the liberal wing of the party.
Crowley had run unopposed for more than a decade and was seen as a contender to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
The self-described Democratic Socialist, nicknamed AOC, rarely attacks President Donald Trump — but when questioned, she told CBS there was “no question” he was a racist.
“The president certainly didn’t invent racism. But he’s certainly given a voice to it and expanded it and created a platform for those things,” she said.
In response, the White House told CBS Trump has “repeatedly condemned racism and bigotry in all forms,” dismissing Ocasio-Cortez’s “sheer ignorance.”
But the 29-year-old is no stranger to criticism — and has repeatedly demonstrated she can respond swiftly to her detractors.
To suggestions her proposals are unrealistic, she told CBS: “We pay more per capita in healthcare and education for lower outcomes than many other nations.
“And so for me, what’s unrealistic is what we’re living in right now.”
And when Republican campaign consultant Ed Rollins called her a “little girl” on a conservative television talk show, Ocasio-Cortez shot back on Twitter: “If anything, this dude is a walking argument to tax misogyny at 100 percent.”
On Friday, a video released online by a detractor showing a young Ocasio-Cortez dancing with fellow Boston University students to the Phoenix song “Lisztomania” in a remake of a mashup of scenes from the Brat Pack movies.
The congresswoman, who has over two million Twitter followers and 1.5 million on Instagram, responded by posting a new video of her dancing in front of her office on Capitol Hill, writing: “I hear the GOP thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!”
But there was no noteworthy critical response from political opponents about the video.
With her past as a New York bartender, Ocasio-Cortez is a figurehead of the new wave of young lawmakers who entered Congress after the midterm elections, bringing fresh perspectives and more diversity to the legislature.
Asked if she considers herself to be a radical, Ocasio-Cortez told CBS, “You know, if that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”
“I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country,” she explained.
“Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security. That is radical.”
© Agence France-Presse. Liberty Headlines editor Paul Chesser contributed.