Stephen Ross: AOC is 'taking us totally in the wrong direction'

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Amazon generated $11.2 trillion in revenue for 2018 instead of $11.2 billion. We regret the error.

Since being elected to Congress in 2018, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has been no stranger to controversy. She received significant criticism after her vocal opposition to Amazon (AMZN) opening its second headquarters in Long Island City, N.Y., a deal that eventually fell through because of backlash.

Billionaire and Republican donor Stephen Ross said it was “tremendously” a mistake for AOC to oppose Amazon HQ2.

“Who was she really representing?” Ross said. “I mean, herself, I think, and her own agenda and popularity. She’s become, in a very short time, a very powerful person. I think she’s taking us totally in the wrong direction.”

Ross shared these comments with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer on an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.

‘I don’t think America is ready’

Bronx-born billionaire investor Mario Gabelli previously expressed similar disappointment about the failure of the Amazon HQ2 deal to Yahoo Finance, although he did not mention Ocasio-Cortez by name.

“The screwup in New York City was the financially illiterates [who] didn’t understand that you have to bring Amazon in,” Gabelli said. And like Gabelli, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon also lamented the failed move without mentioning anyone by name.

President Donald Trump did single out AOC, however, blaming her for Amazon’s decision to scrap its HQ2 plans.

RELATED: Take a look at New Yorkers protesting Amazo in NYC

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Amazon opposition in New York (Gallery contains explicit language)
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Amazon opposition in New York (Gallery contains explicit language)
Demonstrators hold signs during a protest against Amazon outside of City Hall in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. New York's city council held a hearing today to discuss the tax incentives behind Amazon's HQ2 deal and the potential impact it could have on the city. Photographer: Sangsuk Sylvia Kang/Bloomberg via Getty Images
George Miranda, vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, left, and Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail Wholesale Department Store Union (RWDU), speak during a protest against Amazon outside of City Hall in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. New York's city council held a hearing today to discuss the tax incentives behind Amazon's HQ2 deal and the potential impact it could have on the city. Photographer: Sangsuk Sylvia Kang/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail Wholesale Department Store Union (RWDU), center, speaks during a protest against Amazon outside of City Hall in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. New York's city council held a hearing today to discuss the tax incentives behind Amazon's HQ2 deal and the potential impact it could have on the city. Photographer: Sangsuk Sylvia Kang/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: New York's city council holds its second hearing questioning the city and state's deal that gave Amazon three billion dollars to move a second headquarters to Long Island City in Queens. City council members criticized Amazon for its anti-union policies and its alleged cooperation with immigration authorities. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: New York's city council holds its second hearing questioning the city and state's deal that gave Amazon three billion dollars to move a second headquarters to Long Island City in Queens. City council members criticized Amazon for its anti-union policies and its alleged cooperation with immigration authorities. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: New York's city council holds its second hearing questioning the city and state's deal that gave Amazon three billion dollars to move a second headquarters to Long Island City in Queens. City council members criticized Amazon for its anti-union policies and its alleged cooperation with immigration authorities. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: New York's city council holds its second hearing questioning the city and state's deal that gave Amazon three billion dollars to move a second headquarters to Long Island City in Queens. City council members criticized Amazon for its anti-union policies and its alleged cooperation with immigration authorities. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: New York's city council holds its second hearing questioning the city and state's deal that gave Amazon three billion dollars to move a second headquarters to Long Island City in Queens. City council members criticized Amazon for its anti-union policies and its alleged cooperation with immigration authorities. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Protestors rally against Amazon and the company's plans to move their second headquarters to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, at New York City Hall, January 30, 2019 in New York City. Some Queens community members and activists say Amazon's move to Queens will further gentrify neighborhoods in the area and add more stress to an already struggling infrastructure system. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Protestors rally against Amazon and the company's plans to move their second headquarters to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, at New York City Hall, January 30, 2019 in New York City. Some Queens community members and activists say Amazon's move to Queens will further gentrify neighborhoods in the area and add more stress to an already struggling infrastructure system. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Protestors rally against Amazon and the company's plans to move their second headquarters to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, at New York City Hall, January 30, 2019 in New York City. Some Queens community members and activists say Amazon's move to Queens will further gentrify neighborhoods in the area and add more stress to an already struggling infrastructure system. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Protesters gather in Lexington Ave, New York, US, on 19 December 2018, to say "No" to the Amazon "HQ2" decision. Organizers in northern Virginia, Nashville, and New York plan to protest the expansion of Amazon at meetings this weekand call for a community input process that has been noticeably lacking. (Photo by Karla Ann Cote/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Protesters gather in Lexington Ave, New York, US, on 19 December 2018, to say "No" to the Amazon "HQ2" decision. Organizers in northern Virginia, Nashville, and New York plan to protest the expansion of Amazon at meetings this weekand call for a community input process that has been noticeably lacking. (Photo by Karla Ann Cote/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Protesters gather in Lexington Ave, New York, US, on 19 December 2018, to say "No" to the Amazon "HQ2" decision. Organizers in northern Virginia, Nashville, and New York plan to protest the expansion of Amazon at meetings this weekand call for a community input process that has been noticeably lacking. (Photo by Karla Ann Cote/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Protesters gather in Lexington Ave, New York, US, on 19 December 2018, to say "No" to the Amazon "HQ2" decision. Organizers in northern Virginia, Nashville, and New York plan to protest the expansion of Amazon at meetings this weekand call for a community input process that has been noticeably lacking. (Photo by Karla Ann Cote/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Activists, New York City politicians, and union members hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall to voice their opposition to a tax break deal given to Amazon, on December 12, 2018 in New York City. New York's mayor and governor offered Amazon significant economic incentives in order for them to build a new location in Long Island City, Queens. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2018/11/30: CUNY students, staff and allies held a rally outside Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. in downtown Manhattan, protesting CUNYs Board of Trustees chair Bill Thompson for endorsing the Amazon HQ2 deal. The students called on Bill Thompson to withdraw his support for the Amazon deal immediately and instead advocate for the investment of the $2.7 billion promised to the company to be invested in the CUNY university system and its students. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2018/11/30: CUNY students, staff and allies held a rally outside Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. in downtown Manhattan, protesting CUNYs Board of Trustees chair Bill Thompson for endorsing the Amazon HQ2 deal. The students called on Bill Thompson to withdraw his support for the Amazon deal immediately and instead advocate for the investment of the $2.7 billion promised to the company to be invested in the CUNY university system and its students. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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“Tens of thousands of jobs,” Trump said. “Would’ve been a great thing. And she kept Amazon from going — would’ve been a good deal.”

AOC’s defense for her skepticism of the proposal was the fact that the retail giant would have possibly received $3 billion in tax incentives. Amazon had already faced heavy criticism after it was revealed it would pay $0 in federal income taxes on $11.2 billion in revenue for 2018.

“We can create those jobs without marginalizing people,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a Queens town hall event in April. “Are those the jobs that they’re giving the folks in NYCHA, are those jobs going to our community? Or are we just importing already wealthy people to displace us?”

Ross saw her attitude as more of a detriment to the economic prosperity of New York City, though.

“I think if you ask the people in Queens and New York City, her being against Amazon was probably something that was very detrimental to them and the city,” he said. “But she wants to be out there, she wants to be upfront, and she wants to take us in a direction that I don’t think America is ready for or ever will be.”

Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.

More from Yahoo Finance: 
Billionaire investor Gabelli: 'The financially illiterates' screwed up the Amazon-NYC deal 
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Amazon abandons plans for New York headquarters

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