Crowd Boos Former Congressman Calling Ocasio-Cortez 'Tea Party of the Left'

March 30, 2019

The crowd at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D., N.Y.) town ball booed former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis (S.C.) when he suggested the rise of Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats represents the "Tea Party of the Left."

Inglis lost his seat in 2010 to Tea Party candidate and former Republican congressman Trey Gowdy (S.C.). He currently serves on the board of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, a Virginia-based nonprofit devoted to finding clean energy solutions for the United States.s

"I think we've seen the formation of a Tes Party to the left," Inglis told host Chris Hayes. "The Tea Party of the Right tossed me out ten years ago and went into a decade of disastrous disputation. I think we're at risk of that happening now on the left."

Inglis went on to say he believed the town hall in which he and Ocasio-Cortez were was strikingly similar to the rally President Donald Trump held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Thursday night.

"What's the difference between last night and tonight?" Inglis asked. "This is the mirror image. This is the flip side."

The crowd began booing him and Ocasio-Cortez said "hey." As the crowd booed, Hayes broke in.

"You guys are just making his point when you do that, just FYI," he told the crowd.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to Inglis's comparison by saying progressive Democrats are "committed to policies that make American lives better, and we're actually talking about something substantive."

"We're not calling anyone names," she said. "People say Tea Party of the left, and I find this phrase very interesting. The phrasing is very interesting because the grounding of the Tea Party was xenophobia, the underpinnings of white supremacy."

Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, said she may fit the parameters for a Tea Party comparison in that she beat former Rep. Joe Crowley (D., N.Y.), a top establishment Democrat, in the 2018 primary. The upset rocketed her to stardom among Democrats.