WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump mocked freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during an event with Republican lawmakers on Tuesday, telling the crowd that Democrats appear to be "petrified of her."
In his speech to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans, Trump blasted Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal proposal to address climate change as "the craziest thing." He cautioned Republicans against continuing their ridicule of the proposal, explaining it could help them in 2020.
"I’m only afraid that we’re going to be too hard on the Green New Deal and they’re not going to do it because I want them to do it," Trump said. "We don’t want to have them knock it out before we run against it, so let’s take it easy."
Start the day smarter: Get USA TODAY's Daily Briefing in your inbox
Trump continued by mocking the bill, which was defeated last week in the Senate, sarcastically calling it "a wonderful thing."
"The Green New Deal, done by a young bartender, 29 years old," Trump said, referring to the New York Democrat who worked as a bartender before winning election to Congress last year. "A young bartender, wonderful young woman."
'3 Mexican countries': Ocasio-Cortez joins criticism of Fox News after '3 Mexican countries' gaffe
He continued, claiming other Democrats are afraid of Ocasio-Cortez and her progressive ideas.
"You have senators who are professionals that you guys know that have been there for a long time, white hair, everything perfect, and they’re standing behind her and they’re shaking, they’re petrified of her," Trump told the crowd.
He ended by telling Republican lawmakers that "If they beat me with the Green New Deal, I deserve to lose."
Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., unveiled the Green New Deal in February after a government report warning of the drastic consequences of climate change.
'They have health care right now': Trump tells Republican lawmakers they'll get 'clobbered' if they don't overhaul Obamacare
The proposal called not only for combating climate change by eliminating carbon emissions caused by fossil fuels and shifting the economy to one powered by renewable fuels but also prescribes a broad platform supporting free housing, medical coverage and higher education for all Americans.
GOP senators ridiculed the plan because the Green New Deal's original talking points called for even further-reaching goals: a build-out of high-speed rail that would make carbon-emitting airplane travel obsolete; an end to dependence of nuclear power as well as fossil fuels; and the creation of "a sustainable, pollution and greenhouse gas free, food system" that would no longer rely on "farting cows."
During a rally last week for Trump, "AOC sucks!" chants broke out when the president's eldest son, Don Jr., mentioned Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal.
Contributing: Ledyard King, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'They’re petrified of her': Trump mocks Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal