- Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida dismissed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “this girl … whatever she is” at a recent campaign rally.
- Ocasio-Cortez has since suggested that those comments will cost DeSantis in upcoming elections.
- DeSantis also criticised the progressive candidate’s reference to Israel’s “occupation of Palestine” in a recent interview, saying she “has no clue what she’s talking about.”
- Ocasio-Cortez beat an establishment Democrat in New York’s congressional primary election earlier this year, representing a major upset in the Democratic Party.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the millennial Democratic congressional candidate from New York, has clapped back at a Republican representative for dismissing her as “this girl Ocasio-Cortez, or whatever she is.”
Rep. Ron DeSantis, who represents Florida’s 6th District, said at a campaign event on Saturday: “You look at this girl Ocasio-Cortez, or whatever she is – I mean, she’s in a totally different universe. It’s basically socialism wrapped in ignorance.”
A video of the event in Orange Park, Florida, was posted on YouTube and obtained by HuffPost on Monday:
On Monday, Ocasio-Cortez suggested that those comments would cost DeSantis in upcoming elections, tweeting:
“Rep DeSantis, it seems you’re confused as to ‘whatever I am.’
“I am a Puerto Rican woman. It’s strange you don’t know what that is, given that ~75,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to Florida in the 10 mos since María.
“But I’m sure these new FL voters appreciate your comments!”
DeSantis is running for Florida’s governorship and was said to be leading his Republican opponent Adam Putnam in a poll published last week. President Donald Trump has endorsed DeSantis.
Congressman Ron DeSantis, a top student at Yale and Harvard Law School, is running for Governor of the Great State of Florida. Ron is strong on Borders, tough on Crime & big on Cutting Taxes – Loves our Military & our Vets. He will be a Great Governor & has my full Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
In the video, DeSantis also criticises a recent PBS News interview in which Ocasio-Cortez referred to Israel’s “occupation of Palestine” as an “increasing crisis of humanitarian condition.”
Her comments were a deviation from the US’s official position, which recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Ocasio-Cortez walked back her comments moments later, saying: “Oh, I think what I meant is the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas and places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty and access to their housing and homes.”
That didn’t stop DeSantis from lashing out at Ocasio-Cortez.
DeSantis said on Saturday: “You’re saying that one of our best allies is occupying some country. There’s never been a Palestinian state. You’re just repeating these canned, left-wing talking points, and you’re somehow the saviour of the Democratic Party? Good Lord.
“She is, I think, the symptom of some of the problems that we have of really laying that foundation. She has no clue what she’s talking about. She doesn’t understand the principles of the Constitution – hers is just, you know, spout this talking point or that.”
David Vasquez, a spokesman for DeSantis’ campaign, told HuffPost that DeSantis’ comments were “expanding on the importance of education” and that teaching the Constitution could “prevent more socialists like Ocasio-Cortez calling for ‘free’ everything.”
He did not give an answer when asked about the “this girl” comment, HuffPost said.
Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic Party’s congressional primary election for New York’s 14th District last month, beating Joe Crowley, who had occupied the seat since 1999 and been touted as a potential future House speaker. She has since accused Crowley of mounting a third-party bid against her.
Her victory in the primary represented a major upset within the Democratic Party, which has seen a schism between establishment and progressive Democrats since the 2016 election.
Her success has also appeared to rattle the Republican Party. Ocasio-Cortez has been touring the country to support progressive Democratic candidates in their state elections.
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