Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) “literally ran” away from a potential Republican challenger during the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 9, her opponent claimed.
Rich Valdes, a conservative radio producer who plans to move to Ocasio-Cortez’s district to run against her in 2020, said the freshman congresswoman ran across to the other side of the street, seemingly to avoid him as he tried to introduce himself and to invite her to debate the issues during the parade.
“In the spirit of ‘todos juntos’ (all together) I tried to politely introduce myself to
RepAOC at the Puerto Rican parade where we we[re] both marching, hoping to invite her to debate the issues, but she ran away,” Valdes wrote on Twitter on June 9.
In the spirit of “todos juntos” I tried to politely introduce myself to @RepAOC at the Puerto Rican parade where we we both marching, hoping to invite her to debate the issues, but she ran away. 🤷🏻♂️#NationalPuertoRicanDayParade #NYC 🇺🇸🇵🇷 https://t.co/URvkoG4uUu
— Rich Valdes 🇺🇸 (@RichValdes) June 9, 2019
In an account to The New York Post, Valdes said he was hoping to debate about the merits of capitalism versus socialism but Ocasio-Cortez “cut her handshaking short, jerked her hand back and jetted to the other side of the street.”
“She literally ran!” he added.
“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.”
Valdes was not the only person who witnessed Ocasio-Cortez’s behavior.
Guardian Angels founder and radio host Curtis Sliwa posted a video of the incident, which shows Valdes running to the side of the street where Ocasio-Cortez was shaking spectators’ hands, in an attempt to approach the Democratic congresswoman.
Before Valdes could even approach her, Ocasio-Cortez could be seen running to the opposite side of the street.
Sliwa told The Post that as soon as Ocasio-Cortez saw Valdes she “did a pirouette—a spin—and she ran north on Fifth Avenue, ahead of her delegation, just to get away from Rich.”
“I heard Rich yelling after her, ‘OK, AOC. You can run—but you can’t hide!’” Sliwa said.
Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, denied to The Post that Ocasio-Cortez was trying away Valdes. He said, “She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break.”
Earlier last week, Valdes reiterated his plan to challenge Ocasio-Cortez during an appearance at the Queens Village Republican Club. He had previously announced his plan on WABC Radio back in February, according to his website.
“I am challenging Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because I support American capitalism and free markets. As an American of Puerto Rican heritage, and a proud conservative, I hope to debate her on policy, her absenteeism, and her silence on the gang murder in her district amidst her calls to abolish ICE. Game on!” he said.
Valdes, who previously worked for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, criticized the Democratic congresswoman during an appearance at the Queens Village Republican Club, saying that her policies were “misguided,” reported The Post.
“AOC–All Out Crazy–wants to establish a new Soviet Republic. I believe in capitalism over socialism. Her misguided policies don’t represent the district,” Valdes said at the event on June 6.
“She’s great at fundraising but not at constituent services. Ask around, most constituents don’t think climate change is a number one issue.”
Valdes, whose commentary has appeared in several media outlets, is currently the associate producer of The Mark Levin Show.