AOC Mocks Republican Colleague for Asking Witnesses, 'Are You a Capitalist or a Socialist?'

By Susan Jones | March 22, 2019 | 7:38am EDT
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez makes a guest appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on March 21, 2019. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told NBC'S Seth Meyers on Thursday that her Republican colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee sometimes say things that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.

She was asked by Meyers if she's "often taken aback" by how bad her fellow lawmkers are at asking questions:

Well, sometimes, especially with my Republican colleagues, they say things, and I'm like, what does that have to do with what we're talking about? There's this is one member who famously, every single Financial Services Committee hearing, he says, "I ask everyone this, are you a capitalist or a socialist?" And like the person's, like, in charge of the National Flood Insurance Program -- they're, like, what?

And the best thing, too, is this -- you know, last week, he actually said, are you a capitalist or socialist? Yes or no? And the woman said, yes or no? And he says, yeah. And she goes, yes. (Laughter) And it was the whole panel -- and he made everyone go down and everyone said, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

And then I said, hey, it's great if we have a mixed economy. It's possible.


(In other words, the lawmaker in question, Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), didn't know if the panelists were saying yes they are capitialist, or yes they are socialist.)

On another topic, Ocasio-Cortez said she has an "amazing staff," partly because she pays a "living wage."

"We don't pay any less than $52,000 a year. Which means -- (cheers and applause) -- which means so far, two of my staffers have been able to quit their second jobs in restaurants and be fully present at work. And so, you know, I hope it's a lesson to our folks on the other side of the aisle that if you pay your staff, then --"

"You'll be prepared," Meyers cut in. "You won't be saying yes or no, capitalism or socialism," he joked.

Ocasio-Cortez told Meyers is was exactly one year ago that she was working in a restaurant in New York City. "I was bartending," she said.

She called her change in career "jarring."

"And I think that that proximity, just being a real working person in the halls of Congress, is actually such a jarring difference from who has historically been there, that it really allows you to cut through the BS super quickly and -- especially with someone who had to, you know, close up a restaurant at night and have to kick everyone out -- like, you're really good at just saying, 'Ay! Enough!'"

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