Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 'literally ran' when challenged to a debate, says potential GOP challenger
Talk-radio producer Rich Valdes said he tried to challenge the freshman Democratic congresswoman to a debate on the merits of capitalism versus socialism during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York
US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reportedly avoided a debate with a potential Republican challenger as they both marched in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday.
Speaking to the New York Post, talk-radio producer Rich Valdes said he spotted the freshman Democratic congresswoman near West 47th Street before he tried to challenge her to a debate on the merits of capitalism versus socialism.
But according to Valdes, Ocasio-Cortez "cut her handshaking short, jerked her hand back and jetted to the other side of the street" and "literally ran" from the challenge.
“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," he said.
Valdes approached the progressive firebrand at about 12:30 pm, according to Guardian Angels founder and radio host Curtis Sliwa. who was present when the incident unfolded.
“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. “I heard Rich yelling after her, ‘OK, AOC. You can run — but you can’t hide!'”
Lawyer Nancy Sliwa, his wife, also captured Valdes on camera walking several steps behind Ocasio-Cortez before he eventually faced the camera exasperated.
Speaking to members of the Queens Village Republican Club earlier on Thursday, Valdes said he is looking to unseat Ocasio-Cortez and would move from New Jersey to her district, which covers parts of The Bronx and Queens, in a bid to challenge her for the same.
Meanwhile, Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, denied reports that she ran away from Valdes.
“She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break,” he said.
According to Trent, Ocasio-Cortez "doesn't owe anybody a debate" and that Valdes must "run for office and she'll debate him."
Nonetheless, he also wished the challenger "good luck" in his quest to oust his boss, who now boasts over 4.3 million followers on Twitter.
On the other hand, Democratic veteran House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has fewer than 2.6 million followers despite currently serving her 17th term in Congress.