Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says Green New Deal rollout was ‘a mistake’

Clark Mindock

Two months ago, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shook Washington politics when she unveiled her ambitious environmental plan to combat climate change — and she now says that effort was a mistake.

The so-called Green New Deal set out a plan to tackle the climate crisis that threatens the entire earth, but the message was quickly hijacked by detractors who claimed wrongly that the deal would eliminate planes, cars, and cow farts.

She lost control of the narrative, she now recognises.

“It was done in a way that it was easy to hijack the narrative around it,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said recently during an interview with the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery”.

She continued: “It was too fast.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez said that many of the critiques she received since announcing the resolution alongside senator Ed Markey in February are false, and still argues that the effort that failed last month in the Senate is itself “very solid”.

But, she acknowledges that the message was “muddied” by things like an accompanying FAQ that contained false and outdated information, which hurt the overall message as she tried to redefine climate change as a major issue to rally around and embark on an ambitious new legislative agenda around.

“None of those things are in there,” she said of the claims that cows would be outlawed, or planes be banned. “It was just frustrating — intensely frustrating.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez said that she is learning from the mistakes she has made during the first four months of her time in Congress, however.

“I feel like I'm fine-tuning,” she said. “So I'll have to dial things back a little bit to get that pressure closer to where I want it to be ... but I don't feel like there was anything major that it was like, I really wish I didn't do that.”