New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “literally ran” away from her potential Republican challenger Rich Valdes at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday, according to Valdes.
Valdes tweeted that he tried to “politely introduce” himself to Ocasio-Cortez during the parade and hoped to “invite her to debate the issues.”
He said that instead, she “cut her handshaking short” and “jetted to the other side of the street,” the New York Post reported.
“She literally ran!” Valdes told the Post.
In the spirit of “todos juntos” I tried to politely introduce myself to @RepAOC at the Puerto Rican parade where we we both marching, hoping to invite her to debate the issues, but she ran away. ????????♂️#NationalPuertoRicanDayParade #NYC ???????????????? https://t.co/URvkoG4uUu
— Rich Valdes ???????? (@RichValdes) June 9, 2019
Valdes is currently a talk show radio producer who has vowed to move from New Jersey to New York to try to unseat Ocasio-Cortez.
He said that he wanted to debate her on the merits of capitalism versus socialism at the parade on Sunday, the Post reported.
Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, backed up Valdes according to Fox News.
“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,” Sliwa said, according to Fox.
“I heard Rich yelling after her, ‘OK, AOC. You can run — but you can’t hide!’”
Ocasio-Cortez has dodged other debates, including a health care debate offer from 2020 presidential hopeful John Delaney.
She tweeted at him to “sashay away.”
She also turned down an offer to debate Ben Shapiro, podcast host and founder of The Daily Wire, who stated that he would give $10,000 to her campaign if she agreed to a conversation with him.
Hey, @Ocasio2018, what do you say? pic.twitter.com/lKDtmMc8Us
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 8, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet that Shapiro’s offer was equal to “cat-calling.”
“Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions,” she tweeted in 2018. “And also like catcalling, for some reason they feel entitled to one.”
Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, told the Post that she did not run away from Valdes and “doesn’t owe anybody a debate.”
“She kept walking! The parade moved! It’s a procession! Give me a break,” Trent said told the Post. “Tell him to run for office and she’ll debate him.”
Trent also said “good luck” to Valdes as he tries to vie for Ocasio-Cortez’s spot.
Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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