Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, has become known for responding to critics via her Twitter account. A lot of the criticism she faces originates from Republicans, but on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez found herself firing back at a member of her own party, former senator Claire McCaskill.
During an interview with CNN, McCaskill, who lost her seat in the Senate during the midterm elections, warned Democrats about making “pie in the sky” campaign promises, such as promising free college tuition. She also targeted Ocasio-Cortez as one of the main advocates of these “unrealistic” ideas. Progressive ideas like free tuition, universal healthcare, and environmental conservation are key aspects of the congresswoman-elect’s platform.
“I don’t know her. I’m a little confused why she’s the thing,” McCaskill said, according to CNN. “But it’s a good example of what I’m talking about, a bright shiny new object, came out of nowhere and surprised people when she beat a very experienced congressman.”
In her response, Ocasio-Cortez called McCaskill’s comments about her “disappointing” and suggested that the former senator may have lost her seat because of her more conservative stance.
“Not sure why fmr Sen. McCaskill keeps going on TV to call me a “thing” and “shiny object,” but it’s pretty disappointing,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “McCaskill promised she’d “100% back Trump up” on his anti-immigrant rhetoric & lost. In MO, almost all progressive ballot issues won.”
???? Don’t be fooled by the plaques that we got, I’m still / I’m still Alex from the Bronx ???? pic.twitter.com/eO68AGxn2z— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 27, 2018
This isn’t the first time that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has faced criticism from a senior member of her own party. Although only recently elected, she is already shaking things up in her new role and ruffling the feathers of some of the more experienced Democrats.
One Democratic staffer on Capitol Hill told The Atlantic that it was “incredibly energizing to have such a new and diverse group of members coming in,” but pointed out that the party’s legislators were “already bickering.”
“The Green New Deal” has become a point of contention that has pitted the new progressive Democratic cohort against it’s more senior members. The environmental plan is laser-focused on climate change, and the 29-year-old congresswoman-elect joined a protest in support of it in Nancy Pelosi’s office. As The Atlantic reports, the new progressives in the Democratic party want to form a Green New Deal committee tasked with addressing climate change directly through legislation that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support more widespread adoption of renewable electricity.
But, as The Hill reports, The Green New Deal committee was shot down by Pelosi, who many believe will be the House Speaker when the Democrats officially take over in 2019. There will be a committee on climate change, but it will be called the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis, and it won’t have the subpoena and legislative power that Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives wanted.