Ocasio-Cortez: Trump needs a woman to 'vilify'

Freshman Democrat responds to chants

By CNN'S LAURA DOLAN CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.
CNN video

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said a chant from President Donald Trump's supporters mocking her was emblematic of Trump finding a female politician to attack.

"You know this is part of a pattern that the right and the far-right and, frankly, the President is consistent with," Ocasio-Cortez told CNN in New York. "He doesn't have another woman, Hillary Clinton or whoever else, to vilify anymore so they need to find another woman to kind of prop up and become a lightning rod."

At a rally in Michigan on Thursday, members of the crowd could be heard chanting "AOC sucks" at the mention of her name by Donald Trump Jr.

The freshman Democrat has emerged as a major figure on the left and a recurring focus of criticism by conservatives, who regularly mention Ocasio-Cortez by name or target the "Green New Deal," a resolution she has championed to target climate change.

In her comments on Friday responding to the Trump rally, Ocasio-Cortez talked about bridging divides and said she had recently accepted an invitation from Kentucky GOP Rep. Andy Barr to visit coal mines in Kentucky.

"To borrow from one of my colleague's terms, 'you can't hate up close,'" she said. "And so that's why I'm excited to not only come back home to my district but to take up Congressman Barr's invitation to go to the coal mines in Kentucky, because I think that one of the ways that we can combat that is showing people that we're fighting for them too."

Ocasio-Cortez also appeared Friday on MSNBC for a town hall event that included former South Carolina GOP Rep. Bob Inglis, who was booed and called a "moron" by a member of the audience. Ocasio-Cortez addressed the outburst, saying, "Hey, that's unacceptable."

"And that's the difference between me and Trump," she continued.

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