“I was paying $10,000 a year in real estate taxes up north. I’m paying $600 a year in Florida. It’s stress-free down here.”
But the Daily Mail spoke to the New York Democrat’s mom for an article published Monday, and Blanca Ocasio-Cortez turned out to dislike taxes as much as most Americans. In fact, she said that she fled New York for Florida to escape the high tax burden.
WATCH: Ocasio-Cortez’s Mom: ‘Her Aspiration Is to Be the President’
“I lived in the New York area for most of my life but I started being unable to afford it,” the elder Ocasio-Cortez said. “I was paying $10,000 a year in real estate taxes up north. I’m paying $600 a year in Florida. It’s stress-free down here.”
Ocasio-Cortez, 56, who immigrated to the United States from Puerto Rico, said she would never have intentionally taught her daughter to love socialism.
“She wasn’t raised to be a socialist,” she said. “That’s not how Puerto Ricans are. That’s not what we do. She’s a democratic socialist, and it’s very different. They focus on working people’s needs.”
WATCH: Ocasio-Cortez Vid Raises More Questions About Her Residence Claims
However, she acknowledged that her own financial struggles may be behind Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s left-wing political platform – which includes the Green New Deal plan, a sweeping progressive fantasy. She said she is proud of her daughter’s work.
“My daughter works from the heart,” Blanca Ocasio-Cortez said. “What you see is what you get. She saw how unfair the system is, and she wants to change that. She saw struggling parents putting their children through school, but also how difficult life was for people in the Bronx compared to Yorktown.”
Ocasio-Cortez also confirmed her daughter’s claims to a working-class background, even if the lawmaker has been shown to have fudged some details. The Latina matriarch said she worked two jobs to make ends meet while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was an undergraduate at Boston University.
“After my husband died, the family went through tough times. Alexandria was in college, but I still had her little brother who needed to be put through school,” she said.
Blanca Ocasio-Cortez said she was as surprised as anyone when her daughter, who had recently been a bartender, unseated 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley to win the 14th District’s Democratic primary and went on to be elected to Congress in last year’s midterm elections.
“It’s surreal,” Blanca said. “I was watching the returns in November and I was thinking: ‘Is this really happening?'”
WATCH: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Asked to denounce Maduro – Denounces Trump Instead