U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., blasted critics of her signature policy proposal, the Green New Deal, saying they sounded "like Dr. Evil," referring to the character from the "Austin Powers" movies.
The freshman congresswoman pitched the policy plan to the country Friday in an hourlong town hall-style special on MSNBC.
Ocasio-Cortez refuted GOP lawmakers and conservative pundits who claimed that the Green New Deal is a “socialist” fantasy that would take away “cows” and “hamburgers.” She told MSNBC host Chris Hayes that she “100 percent” expected such a response but didn’t predict that they would take it to an “eleven.”
“I didn’t expect them to make total fools of themselves,” Ocasio-Cortez told the roaring Bronx crowd. “Frankly, I expected a little more nuance and I expected a little more concern-trolling.”
Hayes, the host of MSNBC's “All In,” then referred to the “Frequently Asked Questions” document that was released during the rollout of the Green New Deal that included references to “farting cows” and guaranteed economic security to those “unwilling to work.” The FAQ page was quickly pulled after it began circulating online.
“Do you think you guys rolled it out the right way?” Hayes asked.
“What I will say is that I definitely had a staffer who had a very bad day at work and did release a working draft early, so I get that’s what they’re seizing on,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “But really, what we need to do is have a serious conversation and even in those draft versions, what they were talking about is really about the fact that we need to innovate on our technology, you know? Obviously, I had a staffer, you know, released a document that talked about cow flatulence.”
“Which is an issue!” Hayes said, defending the congresswoman. “I just want to say, it sounds ridiculous, but it really is an issue.”
Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic socialist, dismissed the “label” that the Green New Deal is “socialism,” telling Hayes that climate change “is a problem of market failure externalities in our economics.” She also mocked concerns over the cost of the Green New Deal, which a GOP think tank has estimated to be about $93 trillion.
“They wave this wand and they say, ‘Oh, it’s gonna cost, you know, a bazillion dollars.’ Like, they sound like Dr. Evil, like ‘100 million dollars,’” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “How about we start by fully funding the pensions of coal miners in West Virginia? How about we start by rebuilding Flint? Let’s just start now.”