Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and team attempt damage control after a fumbled Green New Deal rollout that included a line about paying Americans 'unwilling to work'

Business Insider | 2/7/2019 | Michelle Mark
Mireille (Posted by) Level 3
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A line on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's website supporting "economic security to all those who are unable or unwilling to work" triggered backlash this week and prompted mixed messages from her team about where the line came from.

One of Ocasio-Cortez's advisers said on Fox News that the line was from a "doctored" document and that Ocasio-Cortez had never proposed such a policy.

Ocasio-Cortez - Chief - Staff - Webpage - Draft

But Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff later admitted the webpage was authentic, but that it had been a draft published by mistake. Ocasio-Cortez added there were also doctored versions circulating online.

A line on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's website supporting "economic security to all those who are unable or unwilling to work" triggered backlash this week and prompted mixed messages from her team about where the line came from, and whether it was ever intended to be part of the landmark Green New Deal policy package.

Controversy - Fodder - Critics - Green - New

The controversy has given fodder to critics of the Green New Deal legislation, which was unveiled Thursday.

Though the actual Green New Deal legislation introduced to the House of Representatives contains no mention of guaranteeing economic security to those "unwilling to work," the phrase was included on Ocasio-Cortez's website in a Frequently Asked Questions page that has since been removed from the site.

Page - Reporters - NPR - Document - Washington

The page was also sent to reporters, including NPR, which published the document, and the Washington Post.

Intense criticism ensued, and some of Ocasio-Cortez's staffers and advisers attempted to walk back the "unwilling to work" line.

Surrogates - Document - Republicans - Chief - Staff

First, one of her surrogates said the document was "doctored" and circulated by Republicans, then her chief of staff said the line was from a draft that was never intended for publication.

In a tweet on Saturday evening, Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, explained that the line was written with specific recipients in mind, such as retirees.

"We were essentially thinking about...
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