FPI / September 12, 2019
Republicans are terrified of “the squad” because they know how “powerful” the four Democratic Congress members are, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said.
In fact, the New York socialist contends, the GOP may be more aware of the squad’s power than the Democratic Party.
Asked at an NAACP forum on Sept. 11 to explain why Republicans are so critical of her and her squad teammates — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressly of Massachusetts — Ocasio-Cortez said:
“It’s because they’re scared because sometimes I think that the Republican Party recognizes our power more than we do sometimes.”
“Because there is a reason we are on Fox News 24/7 while every pundit – while they’re sending mailers with our face on it – because they know how powerful we are more than sometimes our own – frankly I think – our own party does,” AOC said.
Ocasio-Cortez also brought up her work as a waitress/bartender and told the audience that she does not “shy away” from her background as it prepared her for her current job in the U.S. Congress.
“Nothing will give you the ferocity of advocacy like having that kind of experience,” Ocasio-Cortez explained.
“No one can tell me about things like sexual harassment. No one can tell me things like working for tips on a wage that is less than the minimum wage. No one can tell me about taking the subway at 3 o’clock in the morning home from a night shift,” she said, claiming that “no one else has those experiences on the other side of the aisle.”
“Very few people have those experiences, and by the way, when they do, like John Boehner, they’re lauded for it. They’re like, ‘That’s a guy I could have a beer with,’ but with me, it’s like, so–.”
Ocasio-Cortez also downplayed the victory on Sept. 10 by Republican Dan Bishop over Democrat Dan McCready in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District special election.
Bishop gave the squad a “shoutout” in his victory speech by noting that his win was a rejection of the “radical liberal policies” pushed by AOC and her comrades.
“Is that why he won by a smaller percentage than Trump did in his district?” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Bishop won with 50.7 percent to McCready’s 48.7 percent. President Donald Trump won the district in 2016 by more than 11 points.
Some observers noted that AOC does not seem to be up to speed on the political trends of North Carolina, where a number of transplants from reliably blue states are moving, shifting the state to a more purple hue than deep red.
“While systemic institutional advantages favor the GOP, migration trends favor Democrats,” Duke University’s B.J. Rudell wrote for The Hill. “From 2012 to 2016, a net of 187,000 people moved to the state. Where were they coming from? Most commonly Virginia, Florida, South Carolina and New York: two blue states, one purple state and one red state. Additionally, the large net state migration numbers were stemming from New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut: four blue and one purple.”
Due to those migration trends, Rudell noted, it was not possible to “evaluate Bishop’s electoral prospects based solely on favorable 2016 numbers.”
Free Press International