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Ocasio-Cortez attacks Ronald Reagan with claims of racism at SXSW — then people notice her crowd


Reagan, a beloved figure in conservatism, thought to be one of the greatest presidents in American history

Jim Bennett/WireImage

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) attacked former President Ronald Reagan over the weekend, claiming his policies are a "perfect example" of how powerful people "screw over all working-class Americans."

What are the details?

While speaking at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, Ocasio-Cortez defended her far-left progressive values. In doing so, Ocasio-Cortez "criticized the treatment of minorities throughout American history," according to Fox News.

The freshman lawmaker then listed two specific policies she believes contributed to a toxic environment for minorities: Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and Reagan's economic policies, which are widely praised today.

"One perfect example, I think a perfect example, of how special interests and the powerful have pitted white working-class Americans against brown and black working-class Americans in order to just screw over all working-class Americans, is Reaganism in the '80s when he started talking about welfare queens," Ocaiso-Cortez said.

"So you think about this image of welfare queens and what he was really trying to talk about was ... this like really resentful vision of essentially black women who were doing nothing that were 'sucks' on our country," she continued.

"And it's this whole tragedy of the commons type of thinking where it's like because this one specific group of people, that you are already kind of subconsciously primed to resent, you give them a different reason that's not explicit racism but still rooted in a racist caricature," she went on to say. "It gives people a logical reason, a 'logical' reason to say, 'oh yeah, no, toss out the whole social safety net.'"

What about her crowd?

Austin's annual SXSW festival draws the biggest names in entertainment, technology, and media. It's no surprise, then, that candidates seeking political office platform themselves at various festival events.

Over the weekend, several 2020 presidential candidates, or those considering candidacy, were featured at the festival, including declared candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is still mulling a run, and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who is also considering challenging Trump.

According to KRIS-TV, event organizers for SXSW said Ocasio-Cortez drew a bigger crowd than each of the other political heavyweights, despite being just 29 years old — meaning she's not yet eligible to run for president.

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