Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continued to tease a Kentucky Republican lawmaker for backpedaling on his invitation for her to visit the Bluegrass State.
The freshman New York Democrat – often referred to as "AOC" – used her Twitter platform Wednesday to again call attention to Rep. Andy Barr, who invited her to the state last month to tour an underground coal mine.
Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, now says she similarly asked Barr to come to the Bronx, which is part of her New York district, to participate in a town hall on climate change. The congressman declined, she said, due to the University of Kentucky men's basketball team playing in the NCAA tournament.
"So I offered to fly him home in time for the game," she tweeted. "He still said no."
Barr's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday about Ocasio-Cortez's tweet.
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You know what’s interesting?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 17, 2019
Last month I invited @RepAndyBarr to come visit us in the Bronx and offer perspective in our MSNBC Climate Town Hall.
He said no, because UK had an NCAA game that night. Fair.
So I offered to fly him home in time for the game.
He still said no. 🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/ZP2ltnEBc4
Barr started the exchange during House Financial Services Committee hearing on climate change last month. He challenged Ocasio-Cortez, who co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution calling for a massive overhaul in U.S. energy policy, to see for herself how her views would impact Kentuckians.
"I want to invite the gentle lady to come to Eastern Kentucky where thousands of coal miners no longer have paychecks," Barr said. "I invite her to go underground with me and meet the men and women who do heroic work to empower the American economy."
"I'd be happy to," Ocasio-Cortez said. "In fact, when I first started my campaign, the first place I went was Kentucky."
But since then Barr, who represents central Kentucky, has qualified the invite by suggesting Ocasio-Cortez first apologize to Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, for a separate spat with Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., over 9/11 and domestic terrorism.
A Barr spokeswoman previously told the Courier-Journal that Barr wasn't rescinding the invitation but rather suggesting she apologize first.
Ocasio-Cortez has responded by trolling Barr and other conservatives on social media this week about waffling.
"GOP thought they could catch us with a bluff," Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter in reaction to the Courier-Journal story. "Now we’ve got ‘em on their back foot stutter-stepping."
The congresswoman also said she knew more about the region than her critics would like to admit, and pointed to how her chief spokesman is from Appalachia. She said that listening to those Americans is "a valued perspective ... for coalition-building."
"I suspect underestimating women is the GOP’s kryptonite," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
🤣— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 18, 2019
Surprise! I know more about West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky & Appalachian communities than they think I do, in no small part bc it’s a valued perspective to me & for coalition-building, so I have it *in my staff!*
I suspect underestimating women is the GOP’s kryptonite. https://t.co/kmHBvE8o2s
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GOP groups haven't backed off, however, at weaponizing Ocasio-Cortez – a self-described democratic socialist – against members of her party in parts of the country that President Donald Trump won.
The Republican Governor's Association, for example, continued to press Democratic candidates for Kentucky governor on whether they would welcome Ocasio-Cortez to the state.
State Rep. Rocky Adkins, Attorney General Andy Beshear and former State Auditor Adam Edelen are the top Democratic contenders looking to boot Republican incumbent Matt Bevin from office. Perennial candidate Geoff Young is also running in the Democratic primary.
"When it comes to confronting their party’s embrace of job-killing socialist politicians that would take Kentucky backwards, silence is no longer an option for Democrat gubernatorial candidates,” John Burke, an RGA spokesman, said in a statement. "Do they stand with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her far-left agenda? Or with working Kentucky families?"
The Besehar, Adkins and Edelen campaigns did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday evening.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: I invited Barr to the Bronx to talk climate change. He said no.