One of New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s top advisers had to admit that an official “Green New Deal” document posted by Ocasio-Cortez’s office contained a guarantee of economic security even for those “unwilling to work.” But this admission was not before he went viral in progressive circles for claiming the exact opposite, repeatedly, in an interview with Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Robert Hockett, a Cornell University Law School Professor who counsels Ocasio-Cortez on environmental initiatives, challenged host Tucker Carlson when he quoted from an outline and list of “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) that had been posted on Ocasio-Cortez’s official website.
The materials from Ocasio-Cortez’s website stated that the Green New Deal will provide “Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work,” and the FAQ which was sent to NPR also noted, “We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s office removed the documents from her website in the midst of online backlash.
Both versions of the documents describe providing economic security for those “unwilling to work,” and state, “This is a massive transformation of our society with clear goals and a timeline” at a “scale not seen since World War 2.”
Carlson asked Hockett at the very beginning of the interview: “Why would we ever pay people who are ‘unwilling to work’?”
The interaction that went viral was when Hockett replied flatly, “Uh, we never would, right? And AOC has never said anything like that, right? I think you’re referring to some sort of document — I think some doctored document that somebody other than us has been circulating. … She’s actually tweeted it out to laugh at it, if you look at her latest tweets. It seems apparently, some Republicans have put it out there. I don’t know the details.”
But the parody versions cited by Ocasio-Cortez in the tweet did not contain any reference to providing economic security for those “unwilling to work.”
“When your #GreenNewDeal legislation is so strong that the GOP has to resort to circulating false versions, but the real one nets 70 House cosponsors on Day 1 and all Dem presidential candidates sign on anyway,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
Later in the interview with Tucker Carlson, Hockett reinforced that Ocasio-Cortez’s official FAQ did not include a reference to a guarantee of universal economic stability even for those “unwilling” to work: “Definitely not. That’s erroneous. It’s the wrong document. That’s not us.”
But over the weekend, Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, admitted that the FAQ shared with NPR and posted on Ocasio-Cortez’s website was genuine.
“An early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn’t represent the GND [Green New Deal] resolution got published to the website by mistake,” Chakrabarti tweeted. “But what’s in the resolution is the GND.”
Hockett did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment Sunday, but in an email late Saturday, he admitted his error.
“It appears there was more than one document being discussed yesterday, only one of which I had heard about with any definiteness by last evening after a long day of media appearances – namely, the one referred to by the Congresswoman in her tweet,” Hockett wrote. “I regret that we seem unknowingly to have ended up speaking about different documents for a minute during our longer and otherwise ‘on-the-same-page’ conversation last night.”
On her Twitter account Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez herself acknowledged that a FAQ “got uploaded + taken down,” without explaining or providing additional detail.
“There are multiple doctored GND resolutions and FAQs floating around,” she wrote. “There was also a draft version that got uploaded + taken down. There’s also draft versions floating out there.”
Credit: Fox News