“There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America,” she told an audience at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention in New York.
“I’m proud to be a bartender,” she added. “Ain’t nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other people to buy. There is nothing wrong with preparing the food that your neighbors will eat. There is nothing wrong with driving the buses that take your family to work.”
Ocasio-Cortez said she’s living proof that it’s possible for anyone to become an elected official, regardless of where they start out.
Trump mocked the congresswoman’s resume at a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraising dinner on Tuesday, saying the Green New Deal initiative to boost the economy and fight climate change was drawn up “by a young bartender.”
Ocasio-Cortez served as a 2016 campaign organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), then gained widespread attention in 2018 after her stunning defeat of her district’s Democratic incumbent, Joe Crowley. Her name recognition has only risen since being sworn in, partly due to her fiery congressional speeches and keen ability to harness the power of social media.
Her rise has made her a common target for the GOP. The party has used issues such as the Green New Deal to rally against the Democratic Party’s growing progressive tide.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated Crowley was a Republican.