New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has quickly risen to become a Democratic stalwart since last year’s midterms. A part of her success is down to her unflinching faith towards radical politics, which has seen her propose the Green New Deal – a plan that requires the ultra-rich to pay taxes at a higher rate. Cortez’s political viewpoints have often led to her being called a socialist, a term she hasn’t shied away from. But it has given her critics ammunition to attack her, as Donald Trump seemed to do in his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.
According to the Huffington Post, Trump took a dig at Cortez and other new members of the Congress, saying progressives who called themselves “Democratic socialists” would make America less free for its people.
“We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” Trump said, leading to jeers and chants of “USA” from Republican lawmakers.
The president then made a reference to the current of state of affairs in Venezuela – a country in the midst of political upheaval with the opposition trying to unseat the socialist president, Nicolás Maduro.
Trump’s comments seemed to be digs aimed at Cortez and her band of Democratic leaders, but the New York congresswoman flashed a big smile while remaining seated when Trump made the remark. Another leader who has dubbed himself a Democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders, sat stone-faced.
But later, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was asked about her views on Donald Trump’s comments on socialism, the New York congresswoman said that she had surely made the president uncomfortable with her proposal, remarking that Trump was “scared” of her.
“I think it was great. I think he’s scared…. He sees that everything is closing in on him. And he knows he’s losing the battle of public opinion when it comes to the actual substantive proposals that we’re advancing to the public.”
To substantiate her argument, Ocasio-Cortez cited a slew of polls which, per Vox, showed that taxing the rich heavily was an idea which was overwhelmingly supported by most Americans.
Ocasio-Cortez accused Trump of cooking up villains because of his own lack of a vision for the country. Saying that all Trump did was to blame others instead of actually focusing on policy, the Democrat argued that her proposals were reflective of the prevalent mood among the working and middle-class people of America.
“Everything is about what he doesn’t want. Everything is about the boogeyman,” she concluded.