Freshman New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appeared to take a veiled jab at billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, accusing the potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate of buying his way into the White House.
According to Fox News, Ocasio-Cortez made the suggestion on Saturday at an Iowa conference while speaking alongside fellow progressive and 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“There are folks that are trying to completely purchase our political system, running as Republicans and now tossing in their hats as Democrats in the field as well,” Ocasio-Cortez said, likely referring to Friday’s news that Bloomberg could soon enter the 2020 race for the presidency after he made it on the Alabama Democratic primary before the deadline.
Ocasio-Cortez went on to tell the audience that being ultra-wealthy shouldn’t provide such a powerful edge to someone seeking high public office.
“But what we’re here to say is that in a democracy, it shouldn’t matter how much money you have. What should matter is whether you vote, whether you caucus, whether you turn out. It’s the numbers. It’s the people. it’s the movement,” she said.
Given Bloomberg’s moderate brand of Democratic politics — he was a Republican until he switched parties in 2018 — it’s no surprise that politicians like Ocasio-Cortez are mounting attacks against him. Ocasio-Cortez and members of “The Squad” recently endorsed Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist — as their pick for the 2020 Democratic nominee.
Bloomberg and Ocasio-Cortez have a past history of criticizing one another, as the former New York City mayor once blasted the Green New Deal legislation as doomed to fail given its virtually non-existent chances of successfully passing the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate. Bloomberg’s alternative plan for cleaning up America’s energy sector involved a $500 million plan to shut down coal-fired plants around the country through lobbyists and locally-elected politicians.
The New York lawmaker criticized those against her cornerstone climate legislation while speaking at the conference, telling the audience a story of how a Republican once called her an “elitist” for supporting climate change and how she reacted to it.
“What’s elitist is thinking this isn’t a problem,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “What is elitist is thinking that you can buy yourself immunity from the floods and the wildfires and the droughts. That is what is elitist.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Ocasio-Cortez echoed Sen. Elizabeth Warren in her anti-billionaire messaging, as the Massachusetts senator slammed the prospect of Bloomberg entering the presidential race in a recent email to her supporters, in which she claimed billionaires are “scared” of what might happen to them should she become president.