Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) on Saturday referred to New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “this girl Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is.”

DeSantis, who is running for governor in Florida, made the remark during a campaign event in Orange Park, Florida.

“You look at this girl Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is, I mean, she’s in a totally different universe,” he said. “It’s basically socialism wrapped in ignorance.”

He went on to criticize her for flubbing a question in a recent interview in which she criticized Israel’s "occupation” of the Palestinian territories.

Ocasio-Cortez fired back in a tweet, writing, 'Rep DeSantis, it seems you‘re confused as to 'whatever I am.' I am a Puerto Rican woman. It‘s strange you don’t know what that is, given that ~75,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to Florida in the 10 mos since María. But I’m sure these new FL voters appreciate your comments!"


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Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old political newcomer who identifies as a Democratic socialist, shockingly defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in a Democratic primary last month. She will square off against Republican Anthony Pappas to represent New York’s 14th congressional district.

On "America's Newsroom," former Treasury Department analyst Morgan Ortagus said DeSantis shouldn't have used the words "this girl," but he made valid points in his criticism of her Democratic socialist agenda.

"The substance of what she is saying and preaching -- especially about Israel -- is pretty much as intolerable as it gets in foreign  policy language," Ortagus said.

Democratic strategist Leslie Marshall noted that there are many female and Latino voters in Florida, so DeSantis' remark about Ocasio-Cortez is unlikely to help his gubernatorial run.

"I think he was off the mark," Marshall said.

Watch the "America's Newsroom" panel discussion above.


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