Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) threatened to run for president last week, severely misquoting the United States Constitution in the process.
While participating in a photoshoot for Politico at Harvard last Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez engaged in conversation with her photographer, Politico's Playbook reported. According to the recap, Ocasio-Cortez threatened to run for president, but misquoted the Constitution's specific qualifications for the high office.
"You can't even run for president for another six years," the photographer told Ocasio-Cortez, who is just 29 years old. The Constitution requires the U.S. president be at least 35 years old.
"No, not for a long time. Thank God," she replied. "Although we've been joking that because the Equal Rights Amendment hasn't been passed yet, the Constitution technically says he cannot run unless he's 35. … So what we'll do is we'll force the Republican Party to pass the Equal Rights Amendment by threatening to run for president."
"That is awesome. All the people who say a literal interpretation of the Constitution is the only thing you should be paying attention to," the photographer responded.
"Exactly, all those Constitutionalists, I will keep vigilance," Ocasio-Cortez snarked.
What does the Constitution actually say?
As Politico noted, the Constitution — in Article II, which defines the qualifications for president — does not use a gendered pronoun as Ocasio-Cortez claimed. Instead, the Constitution says "any person."
Here is the exact wording on presidential qualifications:
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.
While Ocasio-Cortez made history for becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, she has been in the news in recent weeks for her many gaffes. Just last month, Ocasio-Cortez made headlines over a different constitutional blunder when she proved she does not know the three branches of the government.
"If we work our butts off to make sure that we take back all three chambers of Congress — Uh, rather all three chambers of government: the presidency, the Senate, and the House," Ocasio-Cortez told Democratic activists.
According to the U.S. Constitution, the three branches of the government are the: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.