Republicans are using Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to deflect from controversy over QAnon congresswoman

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fiercely rejected support from Sen. Ted Cruz, saying he “can sit this one out"

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published January 29, 2021 1:46PM (EST)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

House Republicans, facing increasing pressure to condemn the conspiratorially-minded newest members of their caucus, have largely ignored the growing extremism amongst their ranks — with some instead deflecting outrage towards prefered Democratic boogeymen like progressive Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. 

 Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, took Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, to task on Twitter Thursday, when Cruz expressed support of Ocasio-Cortez's call for a congressional hearing to investigate Robinhood's trading freeze of GameStop –– a decisive victory for Wall Street and a loss for retail traders. 

"I am happy to work with Republicans on this issue where there's common ground," she replied, "but you almost had me murdered 3 weeks ago so you can sit this one out. Ocasio-Cortez added, "Happy to work w/ almost any other GOP that aren't trying to get me killed. In the meantime if you want to help, you can resign."

Ocasio-Cortez's tweet comes just weeks after Cruz joined Trump's congressional cabal of acolytes hoping to challenge the certification of the 2020 election. It was this group's opposition to the certification that eventually sparked a violent rampage at the Capitol building, in which several members of Congress, including Ocasio-Cortez, were nearly killed. 

Cruz –– who received $35 million in campaign donations from fracking billionaires and whose wife is Managing Director at Goldman Sachs –– is perhaps one of the least likely members of Congress to take a stand against Wall Street, making him an easy target for the Ocasio-Cortez, whose tweet sparked outrage from Sen. Chip Roy, R-TX.

"It is completely unacceptable behavior for a Member of Congress to make this kind of scurrilous charge against another member in the House or Senate for simply engaging in speech and debate regarding electors as they interpreted the Constitution," wrote Roy to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA.

He continued ominously: "If Representative Ocasio-Cortez does not apologize immediately, we will be forced to find alternative means to condemn this regrettable statement." 

Roy was one of the Senators who initially pledged to back the GOP-led effort to defy the election certification but backed down shortly after the Capitol was raided. 

Right-wing media followed suit and feigned outrage over AOC's tweet just as House Democrats ramped up a pressure campaign on House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to remove Greene, who stalked a teenage school shooting survivor and repeatedly endorsed violence against her Democratic colleagues, from her plum committee assignments. 

"Twitter silent as AOC accuses Ted Cruz of attempted 'murder' on its platform," Fox News reported.  

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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Alexandria Ocasio-cortez Aoc Capitol Riot Qanon Rep. Chip Roy Robinhood Ted Cruz Trump Coup Twitter Wall St