Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reacts to Conservative Criticism: 'I Am as Powerful as a Man, and It Drives Them Crazy'

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York believes that the stream of attacks that GOP lawmakers and the conservative media spew her way stem from her gender.

"I am as powerful as a man, and it drives them crazy," the freshman congresswoman told David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, after she emerged as the Republican Party's bête noire over the course of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that ended on Saturday.

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to comments made by a writer for the feminist news outlet Jezebel, who said women in politics are characterized as either "hideous harpies," such as Hillary Clinton, or "pretty idiots." "To her critics, Ocasio-Cortez is firmly in the pretty idiot category," Jezebel writer Ashley Reese said.

In The New Yorker interview, Ocasio-Cortez said she agreed with the comments. "I feel like I predicted it from day one," she said. "The idea that a woman can be as powerful as a man is something that our society can't deal with."

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on stage at the 2019 Athena Film Festival for the closing night film, "Knock Down the House," at the Diana Center at Barnard College on March 3, in New York City. Lars Niki/Getty Images for The Athena Film Festival

Ocasio-Cortez, who worked as a bartender and waitress at a taco restaurant before leading an upstart campaign to win the race for New York's 14th Congressional District against a 10-term incumbent, said that virtually every aspect of her background was offensive not only to the GOP establishment but also to President Donald Trump.

"I can see Trump being enormously upset that a 29-year-old Latina, who is the daughter of a domestic worker, is helping to build the case to get his financial records. I think that adds insult to injury to him," she said.

The congresswoman, who now sits on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, made a star turn while questioning Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, last week. Her line of inquiry appeared to lay the groundwork for future subpoenas by the committee, including one for the president's closely guarded tax returns.

Beyond her role in the explosive questioning of Cohen, Ocasio-Cortez has become a lightning rod for Republicans' ever since she launched the Green New Deal with Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts last month. The bold initiative seeks to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution in the United States over the next decade.

As part of the initiative, Ocasio-Cortez said emissions from factory farming would have to be addressed, leading some commentators to accuse Ocasio-Cortez of wanting to ban hamburgers. Former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka told CPAC: "They want to take your pickup truck! They want to rebuild your home! They want to take away your hamburgers! This is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved!"

Ocasio-Cortez rebuffed the criticism with typical humor. "Apparently, I am a cow dictator," she told The New Yorker. "I've got a full-time job in Congress and then I moonlight as America's greatest villain, or as the new hope. And it's pretty tiring. I'm just a normal person."