'I think he's scared': Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates Trump's criticism of socialism in the State of the Union

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday night and said his criticism of socialism indicates that he's scared of her popularity. 
  • After condemning former President Nicolás Maduro's authoritarian regime in Venezuela, Trump slammed "new calls to adopt socialism in our country," apparently referring to Ocasio-Cortez's brand of democratic socialism. 
  • "I thought it was fabulous, it shows that we got under his skin," the New York Democrat said of Trump's comments. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday night and celebrated his criticism of socialism as evidence that her progressive policies are gaining steam. 

"I think he's scared," she told MSNBC. "I thought it was fabulous, it shows that we got under his skin."

She went on to say that the president attacked democratic socialism — her brand of progressive politics — because he fears the popularity of her agenda. 

"I think that he needs to do it because he feels himself losing on the issues," she went on. "Every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to the American public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with a majority of Republican voters supporting what we're talking about."

She added, "In order for him to try to dissuade or throw people off the scent of the trail, he really has to confuse the public, and I think that's exactly what he's trying to do." 

Immediately after condemning the "brutality" of former President Nicolás Maduro's authoritarian regime in Venezuela, Trump turned to socialism in America, apparently referring to Ocasio-Cortez's brand of democratic socialism. 

"Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country," Trump said to cheers from many in the audience.

Trump added, "America was founded on liberty and independence - not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country."

"Socialist" remains a dirty, and often misunderstood, term in the realm of US politics. The Cold War, in which animosity and paranoia toward the Soviet Union was pervasive in the US, is largely to thank for that.

Ocasio-Cortez likens democratic socialism, which she subscribes to, to Scandinavian social democracy.

Ocasio-Cortez also argued that Trump was "unprepared" for his national speech, and didn't have a plan to address the opioid crisis, the rising cost of healthcare, and wages.

"I had to ask myself, is this a campaign stop or is this a State of the Union?" Ocasio-Cortez said. 

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