- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described socialist who took the Democratic Party by storm earlier this month after her upset primary victory against entrenched incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley, fired back at Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis after he dismissed her as “this girl” during a campaign event over the weekend.

Ron DeSantis, who represents Florida’s 6th District and is running for governor, said at an event Saturday in Orange Park: “You look at this girl, Ocasia-Cortez [sic], or whatever she is — I mean, she’s in a totally different universe. Basically, socialism wrapped in ignorance.”

Mr. DeSantis, who was endorsed last month by President Trump, went on to criticize Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for recently describing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the “occupation of Palestine.” The 28-year-old later admitted that she was “not the expert on geopolitics” and was up to having a discussion with different groups on the matter.

David Vasquez, a spokesman for Mr. DeSantis’ campaign, told HuffPost that the congressman’s comments were “expanding on the importance of education” and that teaching students more about the Constitution might “prevent more socialists like Ocasio-Cortez calling for ‘free’ everything.”

Mr. Vasquez would not say why Mr. DeSantis called Ms. Ocasio-Cortez “this girl.”

On Monday, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez fired back at the congressman.

“Rep DeSantis, it seems you’re confused as to ‘whatever I am,’” she tweeted. “I am a Puerto Rican woman. It’s strange you don’t know what that is, given that ~75,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to Florida in the 10 mos since María. But I’m sure these new FL voters appreciate your comments!”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez also retweeted several politicians who came to her defense.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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