Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is arguably Congress’s most famous member. If Scherie Murray has her way, however, Ocasio-Cortez won’t be in Washington for long. A New York businesswoman, Murray hopes to run against Ocasio-Cortez in 2020 as a Republican.
The Jewish Press: How does a Republican win in Ocasio-Cortez’s heavily Democratic district?
Murray: Our campaign is “unite the fight.” It’s a winning strategy. My goal is to bring the Republican Party into parts of the community that have not heard from the party in a long time, and we’ll show how Republican ideals are better for the voters. I believe there’s a part of this dialogue that’s missing – how our party actually started as an anti-slavery movement.
You’re an immigrant from Jamaica. Has your immigrant background influenced your political choices?
I came to America when I was nine years old. Seeing my family work hard when they came here gave me an appreciation for this great nation. Being welcomed here in America and going through the process of becoming a citizen was not only exciting; it’s something I will always hold dear.
So taking the test to become a citizen of this great nation should be honored. If elected, I will never [promote the championing of] illegal immigrants or the decriminalization of border crossings.
You have said that Ocasio-Cortez cares more about seeking “celebrity and publicity” than representing New York’s 14th district. Why?
Because of her policies like the job-killing Green New Deal, which has an estimated 93-trillion dollar price tag, and [her opposition to] the Amazon deal, which would have brought 25,000 good-paying jobs to New York.
[I also object to] her rhetoric, likening our detention centers to concentration camps. That’s not what our elected official should be doing. My platform is about uniting Washington and coming together on issues that are going to create better lives for the people who vote for us.
Your critics have pointed out that you voted for Obama twice and congratulated Ocasio-Cortez when she won in 2018. How do you respond?
I voted for Barack Obama because of his message of change as an African American who inspired many in this nation, including many conservatives. In the past, we’ve seen President Trump congratulate Nancy Pelosi and we’ve seen him congratulate Democrats. When did we come to the point that we can’t say “congratulations”?
But I have never supported AOC. I have never supported any of her policies. I’ve never endorsed her far left socialist agenda – nor will I ever. My support is for the Republican Party, 100 percent.
What kind of benefits do you think you could bring your district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens?
I would love to work with the community on comprehensive immigration reform.
We also just had a sequence of blackouts, so we need to build more bridges, build up our roads, and the resiliency of our subway system. Also, I am a huge advocate for education and schools choice.
AOC says “you can free market economies with democratic socialist businesses.” What are your thoughts on what is called “democratic socialism”?
I believe this is far, far to the left, and it’s disconnecting with the more moderate Democrat approach that we’ve seen over the years. That’s why this rhetoric is so dangerous. We’re looking at policies that are going to stifle the pocketbooks of everyday people.
We need to get AOC and anyone that’s part of her squad out of office. And we need to elect people that can work across the aisle.
Ocasio-Cortez has said that “Palestinians have had no choice but to riot.” What do you think about her views on Israel?
The statements AOC have made are disgusting.