'I think he's scared': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates Trump's criticism of socialism in the State of the Union

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night and said his criticism of socialism indicated he’s scared of her popularity.
  • After condemning Venezuela’s authoritarian government, Trump slammed “new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” apparently referring to Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of democratic socialism.
  • “I think he’s scared,” the New York Democrat said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night and celebrated his criticism of socialism as evidence that her progressive policies are gaining steam.

“I think he’s scared,” she said, adding: “I thought it was fabulous. It shows that we got under his skin.”

She said the president attacked democratic socialism – her brand of progressive politics – because he fears the popularity of her agenda.

“I think that he needs to do it because he feels like – he feels himself losing on the issues,” she told MSNBC. “Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to the American public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with a majority of Republican voters supporting what we’re talking about.”

She added: “In order for him to try to dissuade or throw people off the scent of the trail, he has to really make and confuse the public, and I think that that’s exactly what he’s trying to do.”


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After condemning the “brutality” of Venezuela’s authoritarian government, Trump turned to socialism in America, apparently referring to Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of democratic socialism.

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said to cheers from many in the audience.

“America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control,” he added. “We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

“Socialist” remains a dirty – and often misunderstood – term in the realm of US politics. The Cold War, in which animosity toward and paranoia about the Soviet Union were pervasive in the US, is largely to thank for that.

Ocasio-Cortez has likened democratic socialism to Scandinavian social democracy.

Ocasio-Cortez also described Trump as “unprepared” for his national speech and said he didn’t outline plans to address the opioid crisis, the rising cost of healthcare, and wages.

“I had to ask myself: Is this a campaign stop, or is this a State of the Union?” Ocasio-Cortez said.

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