Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that Donald Trump needs a woman to "vilify" after "AOC sucks" chant

AOC defended herself after being attacked at a Donald Trump rally and faces new controversy over primary challenges

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 31, 2019 10:00AM (EDT)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Donald Trump (AP/Salon)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Donald Trump (AP/Salon)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is accusing President Donald Trump of sexism after a group of his supporters chanted "AOC sucks!" when her name was mentioned at a rally by Donald Trump Jr.

"You know this is part of a pattern that the right and the far-right and, frankly, the President is consistent with. He doesn't have another woman, Hillary Clinton or whoever else, to vilify anymore so they need to find another woman to kind of prop up and become a lightning rod," Ocasio-Cortez told CNN in New York.

Ocasio-Cortez also contrasted Trump Jr.'s actions with her own defense of a Republican colleague, Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina, who was called a "moron" by a liberal during a town hall event on Friday. Ocasio-Cortez scolded the audience member by saying "Hey, that's unacceptable" and told CNN that "that's the difference between me and Trump." She also discussed how she had accepted an invitation by another Republican colleague, Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky, to visit coal mines in his state.

"To borrow from one of my colleague's terms, 'you can't hate up close.' And so that's why I'm excited to not only come back home to my district but to take up Congressman Barr's invitation to go to the coal mines in Kentucky, because I think that one of the ways that we can combat that is showing people that we're fighting for them too," Ocasio-Cortez told CNN.

The discussion about the "AOC sucks" rant stemmed from an incident at a rally for the president in Michigan on Thursday, when Trump Jr. mentioned her name during a speech supporting his father's administration. At that point, a number of Trump supporters in the audience began chanting "AOC sucks!" The freshman New York congresswoman has emerged as a leading voice for the Democratic Party's left-wing, particularly with her support for a pro-environment and pro-labor platform dubbed the Green New Deal, and has been reviled by the right-wing as an extremist.

Ocasio-Cortez has been working to push the Democratic Party to the left on a number of issues, raising concerns among the party's moderate wing that she could back primary challengers in swing districts and thereby cost them important seats. After learning that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had decided to boycott anyone who does business with primary challengers against incumbent legislators, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that "the @DCCC’s new rule to blacklist+boycott anyone who does business w/ primary challengers is extremely divisive & harmful to the party."

She added, "My recommendation, if you’re a small-dollar donor: pause your donations to DCCC & give directly to swing candidates instead." Ocasio-Cortez then plugged the congressional candidacies of Democratic Reps. Mike Levin in California, Lauren Underwood in Illinois and Katie Porter in California.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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