Fox Business Host Defends Ocasio-Cortez Against Colleagues' Insults: 'I Cringe' When They Call Her 'Dumb'

Ahead of moderating Fox Business' capitalism versus socialism town hall on Thursday afternoon, the network's Making Money host Charles Payne revealed he has defended Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) from his colleagues when they call her "dumb."

In an interview with Salon, Payne emphasized his desire to foster an intelligent and civil discussion at the town hall event, which will be broadcast from New York, despite the divided nature of the discussion.

"For me, it really does come naturally," Payne said when asked about remaining respectful during a discussion with someone who holds opposing viewpoints. "Again, being someone who's right-leaning in an environment where everyone is left-leaning, I've learned personally — on a personal level — how to have these conversations for a long period of time. It gets a little more difficult on television, particularly with people who have an agenda, particularly with people who are coached.

"And it's not easy. I mean, it really is difficult, but I don't allow that kind of stuff when I can stop it," he added. "I have railed against it privately to people that I know in the media."

Payne went on to assert that he dislikes when his colleagues call Ocasio-Cortez "dumb" because she simply gets information from different sources.

"When I hear someone say that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is dumb, for instance, I cringe — just like I can remember when there were conservatives who used to call Obama voters 'low information voters.' It's the worst insult in the world," he said. "They're not low information. They're just getting information from different sources that you are — that doesn't make them low information."

Since she was elected into Congress last year, freshman congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has been attacked by hosts on Fox Business and the network's sister channel Fox News for being an outspoken progressive on social media.

Earlier today, the 29-year-old self-described democratic socialist called out male Alabama politicians who voted to enact stricter abortion laws, which was signed in by the state's Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday.

"If male politicians could get pregnant, there would be as many Planned Parenthood clinics as there are Post Offices," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Thursday, alongside Barbra Streisand's comments on the issue.

"If these male GOP elected officials could get pregnant, there would be free abortion nationwide," Streisand wrote, along with a link to a New York Times op-ed titled "On the Front Lines of the War on Women."

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listens during a House Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee hearing on confronting white supremacy at the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. Fox Business host Charles Payne said he defends Ocasio-Cortez from his colleagues when they call the freshman congresswoman "dumb." Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images