A new Republican PAC burned a photograph of congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face in an ad during the Democratic debate Thursday, in a misguided attempt to condemn socialism that Ocasio-Cortez herself is calling a “love letter to the GOP’s white supremacist case.”
The ad was narrated by Elizabeth Heng, a former Republican congressional candidate in California.
“This is the face of socialism," Heng says in the ad, as the picture of AOC burns away to reveal gory images of the Cambodian genocide.
The commercial was for a new Republican PAC called New Faces GOP, which is aimed at recruiting more diverse GOP candidates. Heng is the daughter of Cambodian immigrants.
“Mine is the face of freedom… my skin is not white,” Heng continues. “I’m not outrageous, or racist, or a socialist. I’m a Republican.”
Ocasio-Cortez obviously didn’t take kindly to having her picture burned or having her policies compared to the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, which killed millions of people in the 1970s under the leadership of Pol Pot.
“Republicans are running TV ads setting pictures of me on fire to convince people they aren’t racist,” she tweeted. “Life is weird!”
Later, Ocasio-Cortez called the ad a “love letter to the GOP’s white supremacist case.”
Heng responded by tweeting: “Are you really calling me a racist @aoc? I’m calling all Democrats out for supporting an evil ideology.”
New Faces GOP was created in March and seems to be a venture mostly about Heng. Of its 22 publicly disclosed donors, 13 also contributed to Heng’s failed 2018 congressional campaign, the Daily Beast noted. Heng ran in California’s 16th district, which includes much of Fresno. Because she's a young woman of color, some suggested during the 2018 race that Heng could be the GOP version of AOC. But on Election Day, she lost to incumbent Democrat Jim Costa by 15 percentage points.
Cover: FILE - In this July 26, 2019 file photo, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., attends a House Oversight Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)