Several 2020 presidential candidates of all political stripes appeared at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. But it was U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -- who at 29 years old is ineligible to seek the White House -- who drew the largest crowd.
The New York Democrat attracted more interest than a bill that included U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Starbucks CEO and potential candidate Howard Schultz, and former Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, event organizers told KRIS-TV of Corpus Christi.
Other Democratic candidates slated to speak Sunday included Julian Castro, the former Cabinet secretary in the Obama administration and former San Antonio mayor, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Ocasio-Cortez's audience packed a ballroom at the nine-day music and media festival, with some being turned away, according to the station.
During an interview with Briahna Gray, senior politics editor for the Intercept, the freshman congresswoman chastised political moderates, touched on racism, capitalism, class and the wealth gap and took a question from Bill Nye – known as Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Later Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez reacted to a tweet that said Starbucks boss Schultz was greeted with silence upon his criticism of the Green New Deal while at SXSW.
“Ah yes, because we‘ve all drawn upon the rich inspiration of American leaders who‘ve inspired a nation in crisis by saying, “No, You Can’t,” she tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez has become one of the most recognizable political figures in Congress, in part because of her use of social media and her outspoken personality. They have also made her the subject of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, one of her supporters, recently said in an interview that the Constitution's age requirement to become president – 35 years old – should be amended so Ocasio-Cortez can launch a White House bid.
Like Ocasio-Cortez, Moore also took issue with moderates, telling them to “Take a position.”