Shomer Shabbos conservative commentator Ben Shapiro challenged Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a debate, offering to donate $10,000 to the prominent democratic-socialist’s campaign if she accepted — but it wound up triggered a sparring match online.
Shapiro initially tweeted a video on Wednesday in which he mocked Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez for recently calling Ocasio-Cortez, a New York congressional candidate, the “future of the Democratic Party,” before issuing his challenge.
“Miss Ocasio-Cortez, I’m really excited that you’ve been elevated to that position and I would love to have a real conversation with you about the issues. You’ve noted that you think Republicans are afraid to debate you or talk to you or discuss the issues with you,” Shapiro said.
“Not only am I eager to discuss the issues with you, I’m willing to offer $10,000 to your campaign, today, for you to come on our Sunday special,” he continued. “We can have an hour long conversation about all the topics under the sun, really probe your belief system.”
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 8, 2018
Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to compare Shapiro’s offer to “catcalling”, and refused to either accept or deny the challenge.
Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions.
And also like catcalling, for some reason they feel entitled to one. pic.twitter.com/rsD17Oq9qe
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) August 10, 2018
“Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions,” she wrote. “And also like catcalling, for some reason they feel entitled to one.”
This led many conservative commentators to mock the 28-year-old:
This is your brain on identity politics. By challenging her to debate, @benshapiro was actually treating her as an equal. She knows she’d lose, and she needs to posture for her SJW fans, so she declares herself a victim of “catcalling.” Totally demented. https://t.co/o8viIeBAV4
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) August 10, 2018
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) August 10, 2018
But sure, go with “the Orthodox Jew who has never catcalled a woman in his life is ACKSHUALLY a sexist catcaller for asking for a discussion or debate.” I’m sure your media sycophants will eat it up.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 10, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a former staffer on Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 2016 presidential campaign, shocked the political world by upsetting 10-term Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley in the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District.
Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist, ran on a platform that includes “Medicare for all” and tuition-free public college education.
“I would love to debate her because I have one question for her,” Shapiro said later. “Name an industry you would not nationalize; which ones should the government not run and why? Alright, can she name any of them?”
Shapiro also offered to donate the money to charity instead of the campaign.
“So let’s make this happen! Let’s make America a more civil and interesting place. Let’s do this thing,” he concluded.