Conservative pollster Frank Luntz on Tuesday suggested Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is the only Democrat who is genuine enough to potentially beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, if only she could run.
The U.S. Constitution rules that presidents must be at least 35 years old. Ocasio-Cortez is 29.
“The key is authenticity,” Luntz told Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who caused controversy herself last week when she ranted on her podcast about losing the country to a “huge demographic shift” due to undocumented immigration.
“You want to say what you mean, mean what you say,” Luntz said. “You want to be able to look straight at the camera and be yourself. And at least half of them [the 2020 Democratic hopefuls] are trying to be something that they’re not.”
Remarkably, Ingraham — who is a fierce critic of Ocasio-Cortez and one of her main policy proposals, the Green New Deal — agreed.
“That’s why AOC does connect — she is herself. And you can disagree with her policies and ideas, but she seems very genuine. And she looks like she’s having fun,” said the host of the widely watched primetime show “The Ingraham Angle.”
“No one is having a better time at politics than Donald Trump and AOC,” Luntz said. “They should run against each other, even though legally she can’t.”
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore made a similar point about Ocasio-Cortez in February. “She is the leader. Everybody knows it, everybody feels it,” Moore said. “She’s the leader of this mass movement.”
Luntz also skewered the decisions of Democratic presidential hopefuls Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to “reset” their campaigns.
It was “the dumbest thing you could possibly do because then it’s acknowledging that your politics doesn’t work,” he said.
On Monday, Luntz predicted that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would win the 2020 Democratic nomination but added that he would likely not appeal “to the overall mainstream of American people.”
“The public is really frustrated about being forgotten or left behind. And those two emotions, which elected Donald Trump, are alive not just on the right but also on the left,” he said. “It’s the reason why Bernie Sanders did so well in 2016 and why, I’ll be blunt with you, I think he is the most likely nominee in 2020.”
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