Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has raised nearly $130,000 in campaign funds since President Donald Trump targeted her and three other progressive freshman congresswomen with racist tweets on Sunday morning.
Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign took in more than $70,000 on Monday alone. The donations came from nearly 12,000 individual contributions and averaged $10.84, according to information provided by the campaign.
She is highlighting the controversy in Facebook posts that feature a photo of Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) ― a group nicknamed the “Squad” who elicited Trump’s xenophobic vitriol.
“The #Squad has never been just four people,” her campaign wrote in a fundraising post. “Our Squad is everyone who recognizes the cruelty and bigotry of this Administration, and is committed to advocating, legislating, and working every day for a more just and equitable world. Our squad is big.”
Fundraising data provided by the congresswoman’s campaign showed that she benefited from a text message and email blast that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent this supporters asking for donations in response to Trump’s outburst.
Sanders asked supporters for donations that would be split between Sanders’ presidential campaign and the campaigns of the four congresswomen targeted by Trump. Sanders’ effort alone netted Ocasio-Cortez and the three other congresswomen nearly $37,000 each as of Tuesday afternoon.
“This was a racist attack against Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” his campaign wrote in an email solicitation. “It is unacceptable, and we must stand in solidarity with these young legislators.”
House Democrats were enmeshed in a bitter, public slugfest over the weekend as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), her staffers and allies hurled insults in social media and the press at members of the “Squad” and their staffs. Pelosi had supposedly been angry about the left-leaning women’s votes against a House border funding bill in late June.
But many veteran Democrats also harbor hostility to the new members because they fear the kinds of progressive primary challenges with which the Squad is associated ― Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley both unseated Democratic incumbents.
Trump managed to unify the Democratic Party in mutual disgust with a Twitter rant Sunday morning telling the young congresswomen, three out of four of whom were born in the United States, to “go back” to their home countries. He has since stood by his remarks, arguing that their rhetoric, which he baselessly labeled “anti-USA,” merited the response.
Long before the backlash to Trump’s attacks, Ocasio-Cortez’s savvy digital operation and populist appeal had enabled her to build a prodigious fundraising operation. Although she represents a safely Democratic congressional district, she raised $1.2 million from April through June ― 84% of it in increments of less than $200. She also raised over $100,000 over the course of a few days at the end of January and the beginning of February in response to an anonymous House Democrat’s comments encouraging a primary challenge against her.