According to radio producer Rich Valdes, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wasn’t keen on debating any political challengers during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday.
Valdes, a potential Republican opponent for Ocasio-Cortez in the upcoming election cycle, said that he approached the congresswoman to have a conversation about capitalism versus socialism.
But the lawmaker “cut her handshaking short, jerked her hand back and jetted to the other side of the street,” Valdes said.
“She literally ran!” he added.
He claimed that he believed the parade would be a good neutral place to have a conversation, but Ocasio-Cortez did not agree.
“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,” said Valdes.
In the spirit of “todos juntos” I tried to politely introduce myself to @RepAOC at the Puerto Rican parade where we we both marching, hoping to invite her to debate the issues, but she ran away. 🤷🏻♂️#NationalPuertoRicanDayParade #NYC 🇺🇸🇵🇷 https://t.co/URvkoG4uUu
— Rich Valdes 🇺🇸 (@RichValdes) June 9, 2019
Fellow radio host Curtis Sliwa said that Ocasio-Cortez ran ahead to avoid speaking with Valdes.
“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,” he said.
Valdes allegedly called out to her with no response.
“I heard Rich yelling after her, ‘OK, AOC. You can run — but you can’t hide!’”
Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman Corbin Trent responded to the New York Post, claiming that Ocasio-Cortez was not running away from the confrontation, but simply continuing to walk in the parade.
“She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break,” Trent said.
The spokesman also stated that Ocasio-Cortez “doesn’t owe anybody a debate,” and said to tell Valdes “to run for office and she’ll debate him.”
As IJR Red previously reported, many of Ocasio-Cortez’s policies are controversial and some have been found to be unsustainable. The lawmaker was also seen as responsible for Amazon backing out of building their new headquarters in her district, yet it is uncertain if these issues will affect her reelection.