Though Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has become a social media sensation, her chief of staff brushed off comparisons between the congresswoman and President Donald Trump, arguing that their uses of Twitter are vastly different.
In an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday, Saikat Chakrabarti pushed back on the anchor’s question of whether her online strategy was “Trumpian” in nature.
“I think Trump uses social media as a way to get to people’s lowest common denominator,” Chakrabarti said. “He uses it to incite fear. He talks about simplistic ideas.”
The distinction, he contended, was Ocasio-Cortez’s use of internet platforms “to explain complex policy ideas and try to build a movement around real solutions.”
Ocasio-Cortez has become a Twitter expert of sorts, even teaching her fellow House Democrats how to harness the platform’s power and engage constituents. She has earned nearly 3 million followers, using the site to discuss her policy agenda, interact with supporters and call out critics.
“She’s able to do things very quickly because she has a pulse on where the people are,” Chakrabarti said, citing the congresswoman’s promotion of tax reform and environmental advocacy under the Green New Deal.
“She just says these things that other people are too afraid to say and all of a sudden, she creates a moment,” he said.