Jake Tapper Grills AOC: 'Did You Call Them Concentration Camps' 'When Obama Was President?'
It’s quite rare you see a journalist actually grill a Democrat, particularly on his/her hypocritical partisanship. On CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper Thursday afternoon, the host repeatedly pressed outspoken Democrat congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to answer for inflammatory comments she’s made recently about the border and the Trump administration, which have largely escaped media scrutiny.
Tapper didn’t pull any punches, asking the congresswoman to explain why she voted against both bills put forth by Congress to give more money to the immigration detention centers, while she complained on Twitter about them not being properly funded:
“But Congresswoman, didn’t you vote against the House version, too?”
“If you opposed Senate bill and you also opposed the House bill, I’m wondering what it is that you’re willing to support that could pass in either the House or the Senate?”
The Democrat defended herself as waiting for a “truly humanitarian bill” and shoving blame onto Trump for not calling these detention centers a “national emergency.” Tapper kept pressing, asking one more time,“[B]y opposing both bills, aren’t you just ultimately depriving these kids of housing facilities they need?”
After that, he called her out for saying these detention centers were “concentration camps,” saying she was being offensive to Holocaust survivors:
Two questions here. One, you’re taking credit for calling these camps –detention centers, you’re taking credit for those developments by using the term “concentration camp.” And two, what do you say to Americans, especially survivors of the Holocaust or individuals related who say, look, academically you’re right, the term “concentration camp” did not neccessarily mean death camp, but colloquially, when most people hear it, they think death camp, they think Holocaust, and you’re undermining your arguement and you’re hurting us. Hurting our emotions, our memories, our feelings…
But the best moment by far was the deer in the headlights look she gave when Tapper called her out on her hypocrisy about immigration policies under President Obama:
“Using that definition there were also concentration camps under Obama and under Bill Clinton. That’s in the story you retweeted. So did you call them concentration camps at the time, when Obama was president?” he asked.
Ocasio-Cortez fumbled for an answer, at first claiming she was ignorant, then claiming she did call out Obama at the time too. So…which was it?
“Well, at the time I was working in a restaurant,” she began, addding, “but I do – I absolutely was outspoken against Obama’s immigration policies and the detention of families then. I think it’s a remarkably consistent position…. I’m here to speak truth to power.”