Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), also known as AOC, took a Democratic presidential candidate to the woodshed on Thursday night for using a Republican talking point to attack free universal public college education.

In a new ad promoting his campaign, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg attacked free public college by claiming the proposal would “alienate half the country” because the children of millionaires would benefit as well from plans put forward by Senators Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

The problem is that Buttigieg is using a GOP talking point meant to divide Americans on a policy for his own benefit. And AOC was having none of it when she called him out and explained why free public college is a good thing, even for the kids of millionaires.

Indeed, AOC is right. Denying public benefits to the children of rich people would backfire because they would argue that they should not have to pay taxes on something they are not allowed to use. In order for the free college to work, we will need everyone to chip in. There’s an argument to be made that the wealthy should have to pay more, but telling them they have to pay without being able to use what they are paying for is the definition of class warfare, which Republicans will use for their own political gain. Buttigieg is currently leading in Iowa, but this blunder should cost him. Because the last thing Democrats need is a candidate that spouts GOP talking points to attack good and popular progressive policies.


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