In a series of tweets sent Tuesday, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez renewed her claims that president Donald Trump is racist, though the democratic lawmaker said that she believed his administration’s racist policies were enacted as a way for the president and his allies to enrich themselves. The freshman representative also said late Republican President Ronald Reagan used similar tactics.
Her Twitter thread began in response to a tweet from David Frum, a political commentator at The Atlantic, that said Vice President Mike Pence was staying at a Trump property nearly three hours away from the Irish capital city on his trip to Ireland. Frum said the distance from the capital city required the vice president to take costly helicopter trips to and from the city during his time there.
Frum charged that “normal” government officials would go to jail for such practices.
In the first tweet in her thread, Ocasio-Cortez listed specific private industries that she believed the president had helped benefit through cuts to publicly-funded institutions. She claimed that in “gutting” national monuments, the president was providing money to fossil fuel executive. In creating what she deemed “border concentration camps,” she said he was helping private prison company executives.
“Since corruption isn’t popular policy, racism works as the cover for the con,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “That’s why addressing racism isn’t a ‘distraction’ – it’s key to understanding the hustle against working people.”
NEW: Pence's political team has spent nearly a quarter million dollars at Trump properties—including a Trump golf resort in Ireland that the VP is staying in this week https://t.co/HKr0XyS52g— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 3, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez, who was elected to Congress for the first time last year, said that she believed that corruption to be an unfavorable policy, so she believed the Trump administration leaned toward racism as a way to justify the alleged corruption. As an example, the 29-year-old lawmaker said Tuesday that Trump’s support for what she called “super racist immigration policies,” like his proposal to limit immigration from Muslim-majority nations and his detainment of immigrants along the southern border, were means to get his supporters to ignore his potential corruption.
The freshman lawmaker, who has been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration since she campaigned for Congress, also brought her argument toward health care and said that the president was interesting in using racism to make it seem like Americans were “paying for someone else” in order to do what she claimed was to the detriment of their own heath care options.
She linked the practice of using racism to hide corruption as occurring under President Ronald Regan when he used rhetoric about a woman known as the “welfare queen.” According to The New Republic, the “welfare queen” was a moniker created in order to foster anti-government and anti-poor sentiments by portraying black Americans on welfare as being too lazy to work.