Ocasio-Cortez admits bungling the Green New Deal rollout

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., says the biggest mistake she's made in her first four months as a freshman congresswoman was how the rollout of the so-called Green New Deal — her ambitious environmental plan to combat climate change — was handled.

"It was done in a way that it was easy to hijack the narrative around it," Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with the Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery" on Sunday. "It was too fast."

In February, Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced the wide-ranging proposal at a news conference on Capitol Hill, where she called it a "first step" in defining an urgent environmental crisis facing the United States. Conservative critics, including President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, were quick to mock the plan and its 29-year-old champion.

Last month, the Green New Deal failed in the Senate after Republicans, led by McConnell, pushed for a vote.

Ocasio-Cortez called the resolution itself "very solid," but conceded that competing documents — including an erroneous FAQ — were rolled out prematurely and "muddied" the messaging surrounding it.

That allowed opponents to mischaracterize what's in the plan.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., announce the Green New Deal on Feb. 7. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump falsely said the Green New Deal would "permanently eliminate" all planes and cars. (It would not. The proposal aims to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions "as much as technologically feasible.")

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, falsely suggested the proposal would "get rid of all cows." (It would not. According to Ocasio-Cortez, the plan would address the ills of factory farming.)

"None of those things are in there," she said. "It was just frustrating — intensely frustrating."

But the freshman congresswoman says she's learning from her mistakes.

"I feel like I'm fine-tuning," Ocasio-Cortez 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."

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