Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez burst onto the political scene last year, defying odds and becoming the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives.
Just days into her term, the freshman Congresswoman from New York has continued to push back against criticism and stand fast in her Democratic Socialist convictions. Speaking to Anderson Cooper in Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes, Ocasio-Cortez discussed expectations, her policy positions, and making mistakes along the way.
Ocasio-Cortez expressed little concern that people seem to think she doesn’t know “how the game is played,” telling Cooper that she wants people to underestimate her as that’s how she won her primary, she says.
On the plausibility of her proposed policies such as the Green New Deal and Socialist-tinged approaches to housing, healthcare, and education, Ocasio-Cortez stood by her ideas. She explained that while such goals may be ambitious and costly, “no one asks how we’re going to pay for this Space Force. No one asked how we paid for a $2 trillion tax cut.”
“How do we pay for [such proposals]?” she continued, “with the same exact mechanisms that we pay for military increases for this Space Force. For all of these…ambitious policies.”
When Cooper called hers a “radical agenda” when “compared to the way politics is done right now,” Ocasio-Cortez didn’t shy away from the radical label. She told the host that “it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country. Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security.”
And, she noted, “if that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”