Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clapped back after a graphic TV commercial from a Republican-based political action committee called her "ignorant" and set a picture of the New York Congresswoman on fire.
"Republicans are running TV ads setting pictures of me on fire to convince people they aren't racist," she tweeted Thursday. "Life is weird!"
Ocasio-Cortez also tweeted: "Know that this wasn’t an ad for young conservatives of color - that was the pretense. What you just watched was a love letter to the GOP’s white supremacist case."
The 30-second spot aired during a break in the third Democratic presidential debate on ABC. It was made by the New Faces GOP PAC, led by former California congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng, a Cambodian American seen as a rising star in the GOP party. In the spot, Heng recalls her family's fleeing from socialism in Cambodia, similar to what appears in her biography on the New Faces GOP website.
The ad begins with an image of Ocasio-Cortez's face.
"This is the face of socialism and ignorance," Heng narrates in the ad as the picture burns, and which apparently refers to the genocide by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1970s, features images of skulls and corpses, and then an image of a woman and four children.
"Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horror of socialism? My father was minutes from death in Cambodia before a forced marriage saved his life," Heng asks. "Mine is a face of freedom. My skin is not white, I’m not outrageous, racist nor socialist. I’m a Republican."
Heng also responded to Ocasio-Cortez's tweet on Thursday with one of her own, asking if the congresswoman was a racist:
According to the New Faces GOP site, it's mission is to "Help elevate the next generation of Republicans so that we can not only survive as a party, but expand beyond the boundaries we’ve set for ourselves. Identify the new faces of the GOP who will lead us into tomorrow."
The outspoken Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term representative, who along with fellow progressive Democratic congresswomen of color, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, are collectively known as "The Squad." They are a frequent target of President Donald Trump, his fellow Republicans, and their GOP backers.
The ad, which ran in major cities including New York City, Washington, D.C., and smaller media markets, received backlash online, and the hashtag, #BoycottABC, began trending late Thursday.
"How the hell did this Elizabeth Heng ad where @AOC’s face is burned up clear ABC network standards and practices?" journalist and political commentator Yashar Ali tweeted. "2. Just to be clear, this ad where a sitting member of Congress' face (@AOC) is lit on fire didn't just air on the Sinclair station in DC. It also aired on ABC stations in NYC and Houston. Unlike the DC ABC station, the NYC & Houston stations are owned & operated by Disney/ABC."
An ABC spokeswoman told CNN on Friday the ad did not run on the national telecast of the debate, meaning it was purchased through local stations.
Meanwhile, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez's Squad colleague, also tweeted in response to Ali's tweets: "Exactly my thoughts. The mere act of burning her image is a display of violence. Folks need to stick to facts & policy positions. They need to stop fear mongering & more importantly demonizing members of Congress. FYI: No one puts her residents (and our planet) first, like @AOC."
On Friday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted again about her displeasure with the ad.
"(The) GOP’s message: No policy, no facts, just displays of violence + corporations like @ABCNetwork & Sinclair who amplify them. They profit from burning my likeness on TV," she said. "But who pays for heightened security? Who answers the phones for the threats resulting from a violent, false ad?"
Heng responded back once again via Twitter: "@aoc response is the Democratic party in a nutshell. They are more offended by truthful words than the acts of their political ideology that has killed millions of innocent victims. I don't care about @AOC feelings - I care about stopping her lies about the lies of socialism."
Ocasio-Cortez replied, with a pair of tweets: "Since the GOP will only get worse in their hysteria, let’s remember who we are: We are fighting to guarantee healthcare in America. To make education and housing dignified and accessible. To save our planet. To set living wages. To establish justice at home, & peace abroad.
"And guess what: if you also believe in a free + open democratic society, where people are treated humanely and don’t die over $300 insulin or needless war, they’ll call you a communist too," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "Well, they don’t scare us or shake our focus. We are going to build a better world."
More must-read stories from Fortune:
—Highlights from the third Democratic debate
— Elizabeth Warren captains steady ascent into third Democratic debate
—Candidates clash over healthcare during third Democratic debate
—Houston hopes Thursday’s Democratic debate at historically black university drives conversation
—Black women voters are key to the 2020 presidential race. Here's who they support