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

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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.”

Read the full story here

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest