Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) claimed in an interview on Thursday a "core part" of President Donald Trump's coalition is "racists."
Ocasio-Cortez sat down for an interview on Thursday with the liberal "Pod Save America" podcast. During the interview, she criticized Trump supporters and attacked the coalition of voters who supported Trump in 2016.
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Jon Favreau, who served as a speechwriter for former president Barack Obama and currently co-hosts the podcast, brought up the debate over whether Trump supporters are racist. He said he didn't necessarily want to vilify an entire group of people, but that racism needs to be called out.
"Where are the spaces for these conversations? It's not Twitter," Favreau said.
"No, it's certainly not. First of all, I think the biggest mistake we have and it's a trap that gets set by the right whether intentionally or unintentionally is just the frame of asking, ‘Is blank racist?'" Ocasio-Cortez said. "That is something that we have to pull ourselves out of. It's not about asking whether Trump voters are racist. We need to talk about racism."
"We need to talk about racism. Its contours. Its histories, where it manifests. How it's used because like all winning, political phenomenon, whether they're good or bad in your opinion, they rely on coalition building," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "Trump relied on a coalition and a core part of that coalition were racists building a coalition with all sorts of other people that could be susceptible to racist views if they were blanketed and layered and made people feel good about it not being a racist thing."
She went on to claim many Trump supporters don't realize they are racist because racism isn't being taught to American citizens. In addition to accusing Trump supporters of being racist, she has repeatedly called Trump a racist. Last month, she said Trump has a "racist mind" and a "racist heart."
Ocasio-Cortez's comments about Trump supporters came after Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said on Sunday it is "really hard" not to view supporters of Trump as racist.
"I think it's really hard after everything that we've seen from his time as a candidate in 2016 to his repeated warnings of invasions to his repeated calls to send them back," O'Rourke said. "Sending back people who are U.S. citizens, sending back people who were born in this country."