The Republican featured in an advertisement where a photo of Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face was burned defended the commercial Friday evening to CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
The advertisement starred Elizabeth Heng, a Republican from California’s Central Valley who lost against Democratic California Rep. Jim Costa in 2018.
“Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the face of socialism,” Heng said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” Friday. “Throughout history, socialism has killed lives, including those in my very own family. And so I was merely wanting to force the discussion of talking about what true socialism is in our country and to force that debate.”
Calls to boycott ABC News followed the advertisement, which aired on the network during Thursday evening’s 2020 Democratic presidential debate. The advertisement showed Ocasio-Cortez’s face on paper being burned as Heng talked about her family’s tragedies because of socialism. A group Heng founded, “New Faces GOP,” paid for the ad.
“Your fight is with the president that you support,” Cuomo said. “He’s the one who talks about people like your parents, like they’re some ‘other’ that shouldn’t be in this country because they came here with nothing except the hope in their heart and wanting to make it.”
“He doesn’t want those people in this country now,” he said. “[Ocasio-Cortez] isn’t your enemy. You can go after her policies. … He’s the one that’s going after people like your family.”
Heng said she stands by President Donald Trump and the president “fights against socialism in every turn that he can.”
“The idea of saying if you want a Green New Deal, if you want single-payer health care, you’re going to wind up killing people in the streets like happened with my family and people they knew in Cambodia. That is toxic politics,” Cuomo said. “You must know that.”
He added the advertisement “incites violence.”
“Do you want to know what insights violence? That’s socialism,” Heng said. “We’ve seen that.”
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