Ocasio-Cortez nails her attackers for false smears on her upbringing


Right-wing attacks on the progressive congresswoman-to-be continue to backfire badly.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is poised to become the youngest woman elected to Congress, has quickly become a target of right-wing attacks. Conservatives seem deeply threatened by Ocasio-Cortez's compelling personal story and her unapologetically progressive populism, both of which have made her a rising star.

But Ocasio-Cortez is fighting back with the right's worst enemy: facts.

Over the weekend, Newsmax host John Cardillo tried to attack Ocasio-Cortez by tweeting a picture of her childhood home and sneering that it looks like "a far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she's selling." He also claimed, incorrectly, that Ocasio-Cortez went to "Ivy League Brown University."

But Cardillo was quickly and thoroughly smacked down by the likely future congresswoman.

"Hey John," Ocasio-Cortez wrote, "I didn’t go to Brown or the Ivy League. I went to BU [Boston University]. Try Google."

She added: "[Yorktown Heights] is nice. Growing up, it was a good town for working people. My mom scrubbed toilets so I could live here & I grew up seeing how the zip code one is born in determines much of their opportunity."

And Ocasio-Cortez finished with a bang: "Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things."

Ocasio-Cortez's brother Gabriel also responded — and told Cardillo that he had no idea what he was talking about.

"I owned and sold that home," he wrote. "It’s less than 1,000 sq.ft... 3 small bedrooms & 1 bathroom for 5 people. (5 w/o family), Terrible winter drafts, leaky roof, etc. I watched my parents skip dinner so we could eat. Don’t even try it."

Cardillo's attack only served to highlight his own ignorance, and lift up the ways in which Ocasio-Cortez's life story exemplifies the American experience.

The right wing's first reaction to the upstart candidate was to praise her victory over established Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) — and then to smear her as some left-wing bogeyman because she identifies as a Democratic socialist.

But instead of scaring people, Ocasio-Cortez's stunning victory has energized voters. At 28 years old, she will become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and her fierce advocacy for progressive policies has clearly resonated with the people in her district.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.