The GOP congressman who called congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "this girl" is now using the insults to fundraise for his gubernatorial bid.
On Thursday, Florida Representative Ron DeSantis sent out an email asking supporters to donate to his campaign, suggesting that he's the victim in the situation: Ocasio-Cortez, he wrote in the email HuffPost reported, had accused him of "having a problem with her personal identity."
"No. I have a problem with her socialist policies," DeSantis said. "I have a problem with her lie that Israel is occupying 'Palestine.' I have a problem with her naive fantasies about a world without borders.
"These attacks are political correctness run amuck [sic]," he continued. "When attacked, I will always defend my principles."
In the next line, DeSantis says 50,000 socialists have backed Ocasio-Cortez's "accusations" against him, asking voters to help him create a base of 100,000 conservatives to fend off her "attacks."
DeSantis took his initial swing at Ocasio-Cortez at a Saturday campaign event, where he dismissed her credentials—despite Ocasio-Cortez having unseated a 10-term incumbent with her first-time bid for office—and called her socialist views an indicator of "ignorance."
"You’re just repeating these canned, left-wing talking points, and you’re somehow the savior of the Democratic Party?" DeSantis said at the time. "Good lord. She has no clue what she’s talking about."
Ocasio-Cortez rebuffed his insults on Twitter earlier this week.
"Rep. DeSantis, it seems you're confused as to 'whatever I am,'" she wrote on Monday. "I am a Puerto Rican woman. It's strange you don't know what that is, given that ~75,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to Florida in the 10 [months] since María. But I'm sure these new FL voters appreciate your comments!"
Ocasio-Cortez's decisive primary win has triggered alarm bells among conservatives across the country, who bristle at the candidate's democratic socialist vision for the United States.
The same weekend of DeSantis's campaign event, an editor from the conservative site The Daily Caller attended a rally where Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Cori Bush, a Missouri congressional candidate running on similar issues. The editor, Virginia Kruta, later told Fox & Friends she was made "uncomfortable" by the two women's democratic socialist platforms.
“If you’re not really paying attention to how they’re going to pay for it, or the rest of that, it’s easy to fall into that trap and say, ‘My kids deserve this, and maybe the government should be responsible for helping me with that,'” Kruta told Fox & Friends, referencing Ocasio-Cortez's positions that education, health care and a living wage are human rights.
Ocasio-Cortez has been largely unbothered by the criticism.
"Breaking News: Conservative goes to our Cori Bush rally in St. Louis and...gets inspired?" Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to Kruta's comments. "And then...gets uncomfortable...about being inspired by a Democrat?"
She ended the tweet with an emoji crying tears of joy.