A new video appears to show Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez running from a potential confrontation with Rich Valdes, a conservative talk-radio producer and possible political rival, during Sunday’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City.
According to Valdes, Ocasio-Cortez “jetted to the other side of the street” when confronted and challenged to a debate, adding, “She literally ran!”
Other sources confirmed Valdes’ claims, stating the Democrat lawmaker “did a pirouette” in order to avoid speaking with her potential opponent.
From The New York Post:
US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned tail on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to avoid a potential Republican challenger as they both marched in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday, her political opponent said.
Talk-radio producer Rich Valdes told The Post that he tried to challenge the freshman Democratic congresswoman to a debate on the merits of capitalism versus socialism when he spotted her near West 47th Street.
But Ocasio-Cortez “cut her handshaking short, jerked her hand back and jetted to the other side of the street,” Valdes said.
“She literally ran!” he said.
“I thought this was a good time to try and get a response but I honestly only saw the back of her head as she trotted across the street.”
Valdes’ account was echoed by Guardian Angels founder and radio host Curtis Sliwa, who said the incident unfolded when Valdes approached the progressive firebrand about 12:30 p.m.
“As soon as she saw him she did a pirouette — a spin — and she ran north on Fifth Avenue, ahead of her delegation, just to get away from Rich,” he said.
“I heard Rich yelling after her, ‘OK, AOC. You can run — but you can’t hide!’”
Sliwa’s wife, lawyer Nancy Sliwa, also snapped photos that show Valdes walking several steps behind Ocasio-Cortez, then facing the camera with a look of exasperation.
On Thursday, Valdes told members of the Queens Village Republican Club that he would move from New Jersey to Ocasio-Cortez’ district, which covers parts of The Bronx and Queens, in an effort to unseat her.
Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, Corbin Trent, denied that she ran away from Valdes.
“She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break,” he said.
Trent said that Ocasio-Cortez “doesn’t owe anybody a debate,” and said of Valdes: “Tell him to run for office and she’ll debate him.”
Trent also wished Valdes “good luck” in trying to oust his high-profile boss, who boasts more than 4.3 million Twitter followers.