Progressive political newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed a conservative TV host on Sunday after he suggested the Democratic congressional candidate for New York lied about where she came from.
John Cardillo, host of Newsmax TV’s “America Talks Live,” tweeted an image of Ocasio-Cortez’s childhood home in Yorktown Heights with the claim that she lived in that home before attending Brown University.
“A far cry from the Bronx hood upbringing she’s selling,” Cardillo wrote.
For one, Ocasio-Cortez never went to Brown. Long before the 28-year-old Latina went on to beat Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in the Democratic primary, she went to Boston University in Massachusetts, earning degrees in economics and international relations.
Additionally, according to her campaign website, Ocasio-Cortez never hid that she also lived in Yorktown Heights. While she was born in the Bronx and lived in the borough’s Parkchester apartments, she relocated to Yorktown Heights at the age of 5 to get a better education.
“The state of Bronx public schools in the late 80s and early 90s sent her parents on a search for a solution. She ended up attending public school 40 minutes north in Yorktown, and much of her life was defined by the 40 minute commute between school and her family in the Bronx. It was clear to her, even then, that the zip code a child was born in determined much of their destiny. The 40 minute drive represented a vastly different quality of available schooling, economic opportunity, and health outcomes,” reads the campaign’s website.
In a two-part defense, Ocasio-Cortez shot back at Cardillo and told him to “Try Google.”
“My mom scrubbed toilets so I could live here & I grew up seeing how the zip code one is born in determines much of their opportunity,” she tweeted.
A second tweet called out Cardillo’s cheap shot directly: “Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things.”
Cardillo has since tweeted more than a few times about Ocasio-Cortez, saying he believes that she’ll fail in Congress and that, despite his incorrect mention of where she went to school, he still believes she’s “not a ‘girl from the Bronx.’”
Ocasio-Cortez did return to the Bronx after graduating from BU, returning to the same apartment she lived in until age 5. While living in the Bronx, she founded Brook Avenue Press, an independent publishing house for books that present the Bronx in a positive light.
The exchange between Cardillo and Ocasio-Cortez naturally got Twitter fired up, inviting many to turn the whole ordeal into a meme:
Others simply poked fun at Cardillo’s claim:
A recent tweet from Cardillo on Monday morning channeled Trump in its rhetoric and seemed to remark on the response to his Ocasio-Cortez remarks.
“The cutest thing about the radical far left is that they think they matter in the grand scheme. Sad,” he wrote.