US profressive Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has defended her online merchandise store after Sean Spicer tweeted that she was "using capitalism to push socialism”.
Former Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer posted the comment on Twitter with a link to a Reuters report about the New York congresswoman’s investment in her business.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s online store sells T-shirts, hats and other merchandise, branded with "AOC”, "The Green New Deal" and slogans including "Better Climate = Better jobs" and "Drink water & don’t be racist”.
According to campaign disclosures to the Federal Election Commission, Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign paid Financial Innovations, a political merchandise firm which operates her online store, more than $1.4 million in the first half of 2021, reports Reuters.
Mr Spicer, who served as former President Donald Trump‘s press secretary, implied that the congresswoman, a self-described democratic socialist, was hypocritical.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez swiftly hit back on Twitter with a post addressed to Mr Spicer, defining capitalism.
"Not sure if you know this Sean, but transactions aren’t capitalism. Capitalism is a system that prioritizes profit at any & all human/enviro cost," she wrote.
"But [for what it’s worth] our shop is unionized, doesn’t operate for profit, & funds projects like free tutoring, food programs, & local organizing."
Her tweet gained more than 40,000 likes in about nine hours.
The Reuters report said that Ms Ocasio-Cotrez’s investment is "aimed at both fundraising and building the second-term lawmaker’s profile nationally”.
Her campaign described the enterprise as: "uplifting independent artists of color whose work tells a story of community and imagines a more equitable world for all."
A number of Twitter users jokingly thanked Mr Spicer for tipping them off about Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s store, while basketball coach Stan Van Gundy cautioned that an argument with Ms Ocasio-Cortez was unlikely to end well for Mr Spicer.
“Sean Spicer has a better chance of convincing people that Trump’s inauguration had the biggest crowd ever (using “alternative facts”) than he does of winning an argument with AOC,” he posted.