Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Just Had the Perfect Response to People Who Think She’s a “Pretty Idiot”

In an interview with The New Yorker, she also called President Trump “a small, mediocre person.”

Dan Herrick/ZUMA Wire

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) doesn’t mince words. In an interview published Sunday in The New Yorker, the 29-year-old congresswoman took aim at her critics, whose attacks, she says, are rising to the level of “ravenous hysteria.” 

What has made her such a target, she argues, is that she is “as powerful as a man and it drives them crazy.”

Here’s the key exchange between Ocasio-Cortez and The New Yorker editor David Remnick:

Ocasio-Cortez, who is six years short of eligibility for the Presidency, will surely be a focal point of Trump’s tantrums.

Why? Well, first of all, she comes from New York, but not Trump’s New York. She grew up without great privilege. She is a person of color. And she is a woman. And, “In politics,” as Ashley Reese wrote for Jezebel, “women are often either characterized as hideous harpies like Hillary Clinton or pretty idiots whose ‘craziness’ is bound up with their sex appeal…To her critics, Ocasio-Cortez is firmly in the pretty idiot category.”

When I read that to Ocasio-Cortez, she could only agree. “I feel like I predicted it from day one,” she told me. “The idea that a woman can be as powerful as a man is something that our society can’t deal with. But I am as powerful as a man and it drives them crazy.”

Was that the case with Trump? I asked.

“I can see Trump being enormously upset that a twenty-nine-year-old Latina, who is the daughter of a domestic worker, is helping to build the case to get his financial records. I think that adds insult to injury to him.”

Those were not Ocasio-Cortez’s only harsh words for the president:

“He is such a small, mediocre person,” she told me. “I grew up with a real romanticism about America. I grew up in a first-generation household where your parents give up everything, and for me America was the greatest thing ever to exist. To be there on the floor of the House was beyond anything my parents would have ever dreamed of. But the person behind the podium was so unskilled. It was kind of sad.”

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If you're new to Mother Jones or aren't yet sold on supporting our nonprofit reporting, please take a moment to read Monika Bauerlein's post about our priorities after these chaotic several years, and why this relatively quiet moment is also an urgent one for our democracy and Mother Jones’ bottom line—and if you find it compelling, please join us.

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