“It can be very empowering to say, ‘Make fun of me. Do it ... Do what you’re gonna do. Act more and more childish. Just do it, because you’re not gonna stop,’” the freshman lawmaker from New York recently told Vanity Fair. ”‘You’re just not gonna stop this movement. You’re not gonna do it.’”
Ocasio-Cortez has faced an onslaught of attacks, many of them personal, since she toppled a powerful incumbent in last year’s election. President Donald Trump’s former deputy national security adviser Sebastian Gorka bizarrely claimed recently that she’s trying to take away the country’s hamburgers with her support for the Green New Deal. In other slams, a Republican strategist referred to Ocasio-Cortez as “the little girl” on Fox News, and another GOP strategist falsely claimed she hired her longtime boyfriend.
The smears haven’t stopped Ocasio-Cortez.
“When you bust out that door and you’re like, ‘No, I’m not going to let you make me feel that way’ ― it’s kind of jarring. It’s like, ‘Wait, she’s not stopping, and she’s supposed to stop,’” she told Vanity Fair.
Ocasio-Cortez added that she believes people really underestimated her when she first started running for office. Now, she said, conservatives are threatened by her power.
“I think they saw a woman of color ― Latina, no less, that came from a working-class and poor background, that ascended to federal office, and they said, ‘We cannot allow this to have credibility, because if people saw that she did it, then maybe others will come ― and we cannot let other people like her run for office. We need to make an example out of her,’” she said.
Head over to Vanity Fair to read Ocasio-Cortez’s full interview.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.