‘You’re always working on your celebrity status. You’re divisive, and you work against the party…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Former CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso–Cabrera, who is running in the Democratic primary against New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, blasted the freshman congresswoman as an “out-of-touch” elitist who was missing in action when it came to representing the needs of her district.
“My opponent, AOC, made very clear all of her priorities—and yet, what I don’t understand is why AOC is always MIA,” Caruso–Cabrera said during an online debate on Monday.
Caruso–Cabrera is one of three Democratic challengers trying to oust the socialist “Squad” member. Conservative John Cummings—a retired NYPD officer, now a civics and history teacher in the Bronx—secured the GOP nomination in the heavily blue district after the Republican primary was canceled.
Although Ocasio–Cortez successfully unseated former Rep. Joseph Crowley, one of the Democrats’ most senior House leaders, by running to his left in the 2018 primary, some have criticized her recently for driving the party too far to the fringes and hindering actual progress.
Others criticize the former bartender for losing touch with her blue-collar roots as ambition and fame have turned her into the exactly the type of politician she promised to fight against.
Like Ocasio–Cortez, Caroso–Cabrera claims to be from a working family made up of minority immigrants.
She pointed out that Ocasio–Cortez voted against Congress’s $484 billion coronavirus relief package, even though that package provided much-needed relief for small businesses and struggling families.
Instead of actively helping her community, Ocasio–Cortez holed herself up in her luxury apartment building in Washington, D.C., “at the height of the crisis,” Caruso–Cabrera said.
“Me, day one, I was out delivering food, I was out delivering masks—I wasn’t even elected,” she continued.
Ocasio–Cortez responded and said that she stayed in her apartment because she “wasn’t feeling very well,” and she defended her decision to vote against Congress’s relief package by saying she couldn’t support a bill that excluded benefits for immigrants.
But Caruso–Cabrera pointed out that Ocasio–Cortez seems much more concerned about her online presence than her actual congressional responsibilities.
“You’re always working on your celebrity status,” Caruso–Cabrera said. “You’re divisive, and you work against the party.”
If elected, Caruso–Cabrera said she vowed to work with the Democratic Party, and focus on New Yorkers first and foremost by working on “very specific things” that the district needs, such as sea walls for protection from floods.
A loss in the June 23 primary could deflate Ocasio–Cortez’s grandiose political ambitions. There has been considerable speculation that she may seek to oust Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer from his seat when he comes up for re-election in 2022, or even that she might be eyeing a White House run in 2024—the first time she would be eligible due to her age.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.