John Kasich and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in a war of words on Monday evening, hours before the Republican former governor was due to address the Democratic National Convention.
The convention, which is being held virtually owing to the coronavirus pandemic, kicks off on Monday at 9pm ET, with Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders due to speak alongside Kasich.
Kasich ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, and will on Monday night speak to endorse Trump’s rival, Joe Biden.
John Kasich, the Republican former governor of Ohio, will address the DNC on Monday night
Kasich criticized ‘AOC’ ahead of his speech, saying she receives ‘outsized publicity’
In an interview ahead of his speech, Kasich, 68, who was governor of Ohio from 2011-19, spoke out against Ocasio-Cortez.
He told Buzzfeed News that he thinks the U.S. is ‘moderate’, and that ‘extreme’ politicians – like Ocasio-Cortez – receive ‘outsized publicity.’
The first-term congresswoman will be allotted one minute to speak during the convention, and her speech is pre-recorded.
Kasich, on the other hand, will deliver a live address.
‘You know, I listen to people all the time make these statements, and because AOC gets outsized publicity doesn’t mean she represents the Democratic Party,’ Kasich said.
‘She’s just a part, just some member of it. And it’s on both sides, whether it’s the Republicans or whether it’s the Democrats.’
Ocasio-Cortez, 30, has only been given one minute to issue remarks at the DNC on Tuesday
Ocasio-Cortez, who backed Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary, fired back in a tweet, accusing Kasich of ‘fighting against women’s rights.’
Kasich, who is strongly pro-life, took a series of actions while governor to restrict access to abortion. The Columbus Dispatch calculated that he signed 21 bills chipping away at abortion rights.
‘It’s great that Kasich has woken up & realized the importance of supporting a Biden-Harris ticket,’ she wrote.
‘I hope he gets through to GOP voters. Yet also, something tells me a Republican who fights against women’s rights doesn’t get to say who is or isn’t representative of the Dem party.’
Kasich is one of four Republicans to speak on behalf of Joe Biden on Monday night
Kasich will be one of four Republicans to speak in support of presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday – the same night that Sanders will address the convention.
The three Republicans joining Kasich on Monday are former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman; Quibi CEO Meg Whitman, a former adviser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns; and former Rep. Susan Molinari, who spoke during the 1996 Republican National Convention.
The range of speakers is intended to underscore party unity and highlight the spectrum of political ideologues who support the former vice president — a fact that Biden’s Wall Street donors have been spreading among bankers concerned about the role that Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders, both Democratic socialists, could play during the election, sources told Fox Business.
Ocasio-Cortez’s limited remarks, which she will deliver on Tuesday, have angered some, who have accused the DNC of trying to silence progressive voices.
Others were enraged at the allocation of such a short amount of time to the Leftist leader
Ocasio-Cortez herself acknowledged the decision to curtail her speech by tweeting a poem, entitled: ‘Life Is Just a Minute’ by Benjamin E. Mays.
‘I only have a minute. Sixty seconds in it. Forced upon me, I did not choose it, But I know that I must use it. Give account if I abuse it. Suffer, if I lose it. Only a tiny little minute, But eternity is in it.’
The poem, she noted, was recited by the late Elijah Cummings, representative for Maryland.
AOC herself accepted the news by posting a poem entitled ‘Life Is Just a Minute’
On Sunday, the Young Delegate Coalition, a group of 225 delegates representing Biden, Sanders, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Elizabeth, at the convention, launched a petition urging the DNC to give Ocasio-Cortez more speaking time.
‘She is one of two convention speakers under the age of 50,’ the petition stated.
‘Yet, she is only being allotted 60 seconds to speak while Republican John Kasich is slated to have a much longer speaking segment. This is unacceptable.’
A CBS News poll released over the weekend found that only 38 per cent of Democrats said they wanted to hear from Kasich at the convention, while 63 per cent said they wanted to hear from Ocasio-Cortez.