- The Washington Times - Friday, November 29, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Thanksgiving to blast Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg for using a “GOP talking point” to argue against the government providing a universal college education free of cost to students and paid for by taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Buttigieg released a new Iowa campaign ad on Thursday arguing in favor of making college tuition more affordable, rather than providing free college like some of his 2020 rivals.

“There are some voices saying, ‘Well that doesn’t count unless you go even further, unless it’s free even for the kids of millionaires,’ but I only want to make promises that we can keep,” the South Bend, Indiana mayor says in the ad.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who has argued that tuition-free college is a “public good,” slammed Mr. Buttigieg‘s comments as “sad.”

“This is a GOP talking point used to dismantle public systems, & it’s sad to see a Dem candidate adopt it,” the New York Democrat tweeted. “Let’s talk about why Republicans are wrong on this. Just like rich kids can attend public school, they should be able to attend tuition-free public college. Here’s why.”

“1. Universal public systems are designed to benefit EVERYBODY! Everyone contributes & everyone enjoys. We don’t ban the rich from public schools, firefighters, or libraries bc they are public goods,” she continued. “2. Universal systems that benefit everyone are stronger bc everyone’s invested! 3. When you start carving people out & adding asterisks to who can benefit from goods that should be available to all, cracks in the system develop. 4. Many children of the elite want to go to private, Ivyesque schools anyway, which aren’t covered by tuition-free public college!

“5. Lastly, and I can’t believe we have to remind people of this, but it’s GOOD to have classrooms (from pre-k through college!) to be socioeconomically integrated. Having students from different incomes & backgrounds in the same classroom is good for society & economic mobility,” she concluded.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has taken aim at fellow Democrats and so-called “neoliberals” in the past for making the same claim as Mr. Buttigieg. The self-described democratic socialist said last weekend that she never wants to hear the word “free stuff” ever again to describe what she characterizes as public goods, such as housing, health care and higher education.

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