A Republican lawmaker’s invitation for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to meet with coal miners in his home state of Kentucky backfired completely after the progressive Washington newcomer accepted without hesitation.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to serve in the US House of Representatives, has served as a lightning rod across party lines for her Green New Deal resolution, which seeks to provide a comprehensive response to the global threat of climate change.
Andy Barr, the Kentucky Republican who initially invited the 29-year-old congresswoman to his state, said at the time that local coal miners would tell her “what the Green New Deal would mean for their families, their paychecks,” while suggesting the resolution could destroy their industry.
To his apparent surprise, the first-term Democrat from New York immediately accepted his invitation, saying she would be “happy” to meet the coal miners and noted her resolution provides pension payments for those who have worked in the mining industry.
“We want a just transition to make sure we are investing in jobs across those swaths of the country,” she said in her response to Mr Barr’s invitation.
Suddenly, that invite appears to include some caveats.
In order to accompany her on a trip to meet with local coal miners, Mr Barr demanded an apology from Ms Ocasio-Cortez towards Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican she has criticised for sharing a false tweet that claimed Ilhan Omar denied the attacks on September 11, 2001 were an act of terror.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez has defended the Minnesota Democrat after conservatives and Donald Trump spread false and misleading information about her. On Wednesday, it did not appear she was about to back down from that position.
“Luckily, we still have open borders with Kentucky,” Corbin Trent, a spokesperson for Ms Ocasio-Cortez, told The Courier-Journal.
“We don’t need Congressman Barr to meet with coal miners and have a town hall,” he added, “though we’d love his participation if we do.”
GOP’s getting scared that up close, their constituents will realize I’m fighting harder for their healthcare than their own Reps 🙂 https://t.co/TVSafpJWEd— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC)April 16, 2019
As GQ Magazine reported Wednesday, Kentucky Republicans are now publicly voicing their opposition to Ms Ocasio-Cortez headed to the Bluegrass State.
“I think we need to be very prepared when we debate her on issues that we're having a hard time with,” James Comer, a Kentucky Republican, told local news outlets, warning “Republicans are making a mistake picking on her.”
Responding to his comments on Twitter, the lawmaker wrote, “GOP’s getting scared that up close, their constituents will realize I’m fighting harder for their healthcare than their own Reps.”