Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal Has Republicans Optimistic About 2020

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” has Republicans optimistic about the 2020 elections.
  • Republicans labeled the plan a “socialist” and referred to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union remarks.
  • “[I]t’s like Christmas and Hanukkah and every other holiday has arrived,” one reporter said of the GOP’s optimism.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” is meant to be a litmus test for 2020 candidates, but it may turn into a boon for Republicans.

The Green New Deal, which calls for an unprecedented expansion of government power to fight global warming, allows Republicans to wage war against “socialism” that’s backed by Democratic presidential contenders.

“Every Republican in the country should get on their hands and knees and thank Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” Andy Surabian, a former White House official, told Axios.

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel quipped that Ocasio-Cortez was the GOP’s “secret weapon for 2020.” All Republicans have to do is “sit back” and watch the freshman Democrat “exist.” (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Bungled Green New Deal’s Release. Her Staff Took Its Webpage Offline)

“The Democrats seem oblivious to its power. And the GOP needn’t lift a finger for it to work,” Strassel wrote in a Thursday night column.

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan told Fox News Thursday that “it’s like Christmas and Hanukkah and every other holiday has arrived” for President Donald Trump’s team.

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez participates in a news conference to call on Congress to cut funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., Feb. 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“I’ve never seen them so joyful and full of glee,” Swan said. “They’re gonna elevate this and talk about it til the cows come home.”

Ocasio-Cortez also bungled the Green New Deal’s rollout, including calls to eliminate “farty cows,” air travel and hand out welfare to those “unwilling to work,” which fueled Republican criticisms of the proposal.

“Democrat socialists made clear today that they want to use climate change as a means to abolish capitalism and implement massive taxation, expropriation and government control,” Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar said of the Green New Deal.

Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso called it a “socialist manifesto,” and Utah GOP Rep. Rob Bishop called it a “socialist superpackage” because of the resolution’s veering off into calls for universal health care, government-guaranteed jobs and “social justice.”

“I hope I wake up out of this twilight zone,” Bishop said.

Ocasio-Cortez released her highly anticipated Green New Deal resolution Thursday with more than 60 cosponsors, including presidential candidate Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. A Senate companion bill is cosponsored by 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

Representative Gabbard delivers a nomination speech for Sanders on the second day at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard  delivers a nomination speech for Senator Bernie Sanders on the second day at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, is seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party.

However, Democrats are far from united on this. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the Green New Deal as a mere “suggestion,” not a centerpiece of her party’s agenda.

“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi told Politico Wednesday. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

Ocasio-Cortez embraced Pelosi’s “green dream” comment.

“I echo President Trump’s statement from the State of the Union Address: ‘America will never be a socialist country,'” Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs said in a statement addressed to Democrats.

Trump condemned socialism in his Tuesday night speech to thunderous applause from Republicans. Most Americans seem to back that sentiment — a CBS poll found 76 percent of Americans who watched the speech approved of it.

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