A House Democratic primary debate between incumbent Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her primary opponent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera got testy on Monday when Caruso-Cabrera confronted AOC over what she described as a lack of priorities during the COVID-19 crisis.
AOC opponent: ‘You stayed away in your apartment. AOC, you’re always MIA’
Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC host, took issue with Ocasio-Cortez choosing to stay in Washington D.C. at “the height of the crisis.”
“You stayed away in your apartment. AOC, you’re always MIA,” said Caruso-Cabrera.
Ocasio-Cortez shot back, “While it’s disappointing to see Ms. Caruso-Cabrera fixated on personal attacks — and for some strange reason, obsessed with the six days in March that I wasn’t feeling well, and had to stay in my apartment.”
— Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (@MCaruso_Cabrera) May 15, 2020
AOC On the Attack
AOC continued, “I do think it’s quite funny that she goes on and on about the fact that … I spend time doing my job in Washington and coming home to the Bronx when she lived in a $15,000-a-month Trump Tower apartment until six months ago.”
“This woman probably couldn’t even find Sunnyside [Queens] on a map until she decided to challenge me for the sake of challenging me,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “She doesn’t care about the Bronx, she doesn’t care about Queens. She cares about running for running.”
Why is @AOC always MIA? At the height of the crisis she stayed in her luxury DC apt w/ a @WholeFoods in the lobby & didn’t come home even tho Congress wasn’t in session. She did that for a week! Why on earth would you do that when there's a crisis going on here? & you’re the rep! pic.twitter.com/Q2duGFI3wg
— Michelle Caruso-Cabrera (@MCaruso_Cabrera) May 20, 2020
“No one’s ever seen this person before,” AOC added. “Who are you? Like, where is your family from? Where have you lived? No one has seen you in this community before, and while I know you have multi-millionaires that finance your campaign, and you’re financed by the same real estate developers and big banks that will profit from the corruption in Washington, and adding one more notch to their belt, I don’t think it’s important for us to do that. I don’t think it’s OK for us to do that.”
Caruso-Cabrera responded, “Greetings from Sunnyside, Queens. I love Sunnyside, Queens, I love New York. I wish I had been born in New York. Unfortunately, I wasn’t. My opponent is the one that nobody ever sees in the district. Let me tell you, the second this crisis started, I started delivering food and I started delivering masks.”
“I have delivered nearly 50,000 masks and food and hand sanitizer to Jacobi Hospital, which I’m not sure you could have found on a map, AOC,” Caruso-Cabrera said, which caused Ocasio-Cortez to laugh.
Caruso-Cabrera vowed that on “day one, I was out delivering food, I was out delivering masks — I wasn’t even elected.”
— Team Lynn — Anger Department (@KHiveQueenBee) May 19, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez again claimed that she had stayed in her apartment because she felt unwell before addressing pandemic.
“I’m proud to say that we continued to have a strong field force on the ground, and this is the benefit of being a movement candidate,” AOC said. “Again, I have continued to raise over almost half-a-million dollars for food pantries, delivering meals myself, while also advocating for broader, systemic change in Washington.”
Caruso-Cabrera argued that was the “least” Ocasio-Cortez could do after “driving away 25,000 jobs,” a slam against AOC’s opposition to Amazon’s bid to build a second headquarters in Queens.
“That’s the least you could do after driving away $27 billion in tax revenue that we could have had,” Caruso-Cabrera said. “Imagine if we had those jobs that you drove away right now to help us get back on our feet.”