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FL-Sen: Rep. DeSantis defends calling NY congressional candidate Ocasio-Cortez 'that girl

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) (left), a candidate for U.S. Senate, defended himself against backlash after he referred to New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (righ) as "this girl Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is." (Left image: Spencer Platt/Getty Images; right image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla), a sitting congressman and current candidate for U.S. Senate, came under fire for referring to New York Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “this girl Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is.”

In a Fox News interview, DeSantis defended his words, saying that he didn't care “if she's an Eskimo.”

What are the details?

This episode started when DeSantis was addressing a crowd of supporters at an event Saturday in Orange Park, Florida.

“You look at this girl Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is, I mean, she’s in a totally different universe. It’s basically socialism wrapped in ignorance, and it's problematic.”

Ocasio-Cortez took issue with this wording, and responded on Twitter:

DeSantis shot back during a Fox News interview, accusing Ocasio-Cortez of trying to play “identity politics”:

I don’t care whether she Puerto Rican, whether she’s Anglo-Saxon, I don’t care whether she’s an Eskimo. Socialism doesn’t work. And it’s wrong. And you know what? I would say there’s probably a stronger aversion among some of our Hispanic populations in Florida than even the broader population.

DeSantis also defended his use of the word “girl” to describe Ocasio-Cortez by mentioning that she often referred to herself as “a girl from the Bronx.”

How are these candidates doing?

Ocasio-Cortez, who labels herself as a "Democratic Socialist," has already clinched the Democratic nomination in her race, and will face off in November against Republican Anthony Pappas in New York's heavily Democratic 14th Congressional district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens.

A poll taken July 20-21 by the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economic Polling Initiative found DeSantis with a comfortable 27 point lead over his Republican opponent, Florida Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam. Florida's primary election will take place on Aug. 28.

One last thing…
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