Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Friday that a deranged Republican ad which compared the New York congresswoman's democratic socialism to the ideology of the Khmer Rouge won't dissuade her from continuing to work for progressive goals like Medicare for All, living wages, and climate justice.
"They don't scare us or shake our focus. We are going to build a better world."
—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Ocasio-Cortez said the ad, which aired during the 2020 Democratic presidential debate Thursday night and opened with a burning photo of the New York Democrat, demonstrated the vapidity of the Republican Party's message.
"No policy, no facts, just displays of violence and corporations like ABC and Sinclair who amplify them," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "They profit from burning my likeness on TV. But who pays for heightened security? Who answers the phones for the threats resulting from a violent, false ad?"
GOP’s message: No policy, no facts, just displays of violence + corporations like @ABCNetwork & Sinclair who amplify them.
They profit from burning my likeness on TV. But who pays for heightened security? Who answers the phones for the threats resulting from a violent, false ad? https://t.co/Gr1XhEbwDC
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 13, 2019
The commercial was paid for by Republican political action committee New Faces GOP and narrated by California Republican Elizabeth Heng, who lost her 2018 challenge to Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) by 15 points.
"Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horror of socialism?" Heng says in the ad as a burning hole in a photo of Ocasio-Cortez reveals skulls from the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia. "My father was minutes from death in Cambodia, before a forced marriage saved his life. That's socialism."
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The ad provoked widespread outrage and the hashtag #BoycottABC quickly went viral on Twitter as the Disney-owned network faced backlash for agreeing to air the commercial.
We need answers and accountability from ABC for this disgusting and reckless ad. https://t.co/AAoXlN8mtu
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) September 13, 2019
"Know that this wasn't an ad for young conservatives of color—that was the pretense," Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter Thursday night after the ad aired. "What you just watched was a love letter to the GOP's white supremacist [b]ase."
On Friday, the New York Democrat warned in a series of tweets that the GOP's "hysteria" will only continue to get worse and urged progressives to "remember who we are."
"We are fighting to guarantee healthcare in America," said Ocasio-Cortez. "To make education and housing dignified and accessible. To save our planet. To set living wages. To establish justice at home and peace abroad."
"And guess what: if you also believe in a free and open democratic society, where people are treated humanely and don't die over $300 insulin or needless war, they'll call you a communist too," the congresswoman added. "Well, they don't scare us or shake our focus. We are going to build a better world."