Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, accused Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, of attempting to “gaslight” the public after she referenced “white supremacist conspiracy theories” while reiterating her call for universal health care.
Ocasio-Cortez is frequently identified among a group of young progressive Democratic lawmakers known as “The Squad.” In a Jan. 30 tweet, the New York lawmaker argued that critics have established a false equivalency between progressive policies on the far left and “conspiracy theories” on the far right of the political spectrum.
“Imagine thinking that ‘healthcare is a human right’ vs white supremacist conspiracy theories are two views ‘just as extreme’ as the other,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a Jan. 30 tweet.
The tweet drew a rebuke from Owens, a Black former NFL player who won a House seat last November.
“Imagine growing up dealing with the horrors of actual white supremacists, only to eventually see that term just become a way for ‘woke’ Democrats to gaslight anyone who doesn’t agree with them,” said Owens.
Owens has frequently criticized Ocasio-Cortez and other “Squad” members in recent months. He has touted a group of first-term Republican lawmakers as a “Freedom Force” that would serve as a check against progressive political rivals.
Ocasio-Cortez has stepped up her criticism of the Republican Party after pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6. In an appearance on MSNBC last month, Ocasio-Cortez said there were “legitimate white supremacist sympathizers” among Republicans in the House.
The Democrat has also criticized Republican leaders for failing to reprimand Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Ocasio-Cortez is among several progressives who support the implementation of “Medicare for All,” described on her website as a “universal, single-payer health care system.” Republican critics have likened “Medicare for All” policies to socialized medicine.
President Biden is pushing an expansion to the Affordable Care Act that would provide a “public option” in addition to private insurance.
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