Conservative radio producer, Rich Valdes, plans to take on well-known progressive politician, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for New York’s 14th congressional district.
Valdes is a New Jersey Republican who is an associate producer for the conservative talk-radio show the Mark Levin Show. He has also worked for former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
According to The New York Post, Valdes announced his 2020 bid against AOC during an appearance at a Queens GOP club May 30.
In recent news, Valdes claimed AOC ran away from him after she spotted him at New York City’s Puerto Rican Day parade.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Valdes Hopes to Engage ‘AOC’ in a Socialism vs. Capitalism Debate
- The socialism versus capitalism dichotomy is a battle that has been raging throughout political conversations in America recently. Valdes hopes to capitalize on that dichotomy in order to take AOC down in the upcoming 2020 election.
“I believe in capitalism over socialism. Her misguided policies don’t represent the district,” Valdes told a crowd at a Queens GOP meeting, according to The New York Post. “She’s great at fundraising but not at constituent services. Ask around, most constituents don’t think climate change is a number one issue,” he added.
Ocasio-Cortez has touted her “democratic socialist” label time and time again, but according to a MSNBC interview in February she told Chuck Todd that it is possible to be a capitalist and a democratic socialist at the same time.
“It’s really about a more nuanced understanding of how our economy should work,” she said in the interview.
2. Valdes Said AOC Means ‘All Out Crazy’
During the same meeting with the GOP group in Queens where Valdes called Ocasio-Cortez “misguided” in her policy proposals, Valdes took a card from President Trump’s book and gave AOC a new nickname.
Valdes told the crowd that AOC stand for “All Out Crazy,” instead of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“AOC – All Out Crazy – wants to establish a new Soviet Republic. I believe in capitalism over socialism,” Valdes told the crowd, according to The New York Post.
Valdes also claimed that he speaks better spanish than AOC. Defending himself against the accusations of him being a carpetbagger – a political candidate who seeks to represent the people of a geographic location where the candidate does not have any local connectinos – Valdes said he is seen more by people in her district than OCasio-Cortez is.
“People see me and they say ‘wow’ we see you more than we see her!” he said. “That’s interesting for a carpetbagger.”
“I know I speak better Spanish than her,” Valdes added.
According to Newsweek, Ocasio-Crotez is a 29-year-old who was born in the Bronx and whose parents are both Puerto Rican.
3. Valdes Said AOC Ran Away From Him During the Puerto Rican Day Parade
Valdes told The New York Post that AOC cut her handshaking short once she spotted him and ran across the street to avoid any conversation with her potenital opponent.
Ocasio-Cortez “cut her handshaking short, jerked her hand back and jetted to the other side of the street,” Valdes said.
Valdes was tyring to engage her in a conversation about the merits of capitalism versus socialism.
“I thought this was a good time to try and get a response but I honestly only saw the back of her head as she trotted across the street,” Valdes said.
His claim was backed up radio host Curtis Sliwa.
“As soon as she saw him, she did a pirouette — a spin — and she ran north on Fifth Avenue, ahead of her delegation, just to get away from Rich,” Sliwa said. “I heard Rich yelling after her, ‘OK, AOC. You can run — but you can’t hide!’”
4. Ocasio-Cortez’s Office Denied She Ran Away From Valdes
After Valdes made his claim about Ocasio-Cortez running away from him in the middle of the Purto Rican Day Parade, he provided photos to The New York Post.
Spokesman from the Ocasio-Cortez administration denied the accusations.
“She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break,” he told The New York Post.
Trent also mentioned that AOC “doesn’t owe anybody a debate.”
“Tell him to run for office and she’ll debate him,” he added.
Valdes may just get his wish if he gains momentum prior to the 2020 election.
5. AOC Is Seen as Unfavorable According to a March Gallup Poll
Newsweek reported that a March Gallup Poll had Ocasio-Cortez with an unfavorable rating of 41 percent and a favorable rating of 31 percent.
AOC responded by saying she has a higher approval rating with women, minorities and people aged 18-34.
“If you want to know what subconscious bias looks like, it’s a headline saying ‘AOC is underwater with every group EXCEPT women, nonwhites, and 18-34 year olds.’ So older, conservative white men are considered ‘everyone’ and everyone else is discounted as an exception,” she tweeted in response to a now deleted tweet.
She also said Fox News’ constant coverage of her has influenced these polls.
“The reason people know more is bc Fox News has turned into ‘AOC TMZ’ (no offense to TMZ), so awareness is growing w/ GOPers,” AOC tweeted.