FNC’s Laura Ingraham: Conservatives Could Work with AOC, Other ‘Progressive’ Populists

Wednesday on FNC’s “The Ingraham Angle,” host Laura Ingraham speculated about the possibility of conservatives teaming up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on several key issues to defeat the establishment forces in both political parties.

Transcript as follows:

INGRAHAM: First, the tempting of AOC; that’s the focus of tonight’s “Angle.”

Now, shortly after she stunned House Democrats by beating long-time incumbent Queens Congressman Joe Crowley two years ago, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was being written off by many Republicans as just a flash in the pan – just a far-left progressive who caught an old establishment Democrat off guard. But I saw things differently.

I think it’s a mistake for conservatives not to take her seriously, to brush her off as kind of a flash in the plan or an upstart. She’s as close to a thought leader that the Democratic Party has today and she has a massive social media following. She’s both charismatic and she’s committed to transforming both our economic system and our culture.

And while her candidate Bernie Sanders didn’t win the 2020 nomination, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has had enormous influence on her party. As a freshman Democrat, her coalition helped pull Joe Biden and her colleagues to the Left on key issues such as the Green New Deal, healthcare and impeachment.

And Democrats will do almost anything, albeit grudgingly, to avoid being primary-ed by her, one of her choices. She has presented herself as a strong voice for working-class Americans and a strong critic of multi-national corporations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): I’m proud to be a bartender; ain’t nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other to buy. There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America. And there is everything dignified about it. The Democratic Party is supposed to be the champion of the working class.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: I agree. But with Joe Biden waiting in the wings, poised to announce major changes to US trade and foreign policy, AOC faces some difficult choices. How can she, who has always claimed to be a crusader for the working class – you just heard it – support the policies favored by big corporate interests, Wall Street, the billionaires of Silicon Valley?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OCASIO-CORTEZ: We cannot go back to a world where the rich are put first and working people are put last in Washington day in and day out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Well, given what Biden’s team is already telling us, that’s exactly where we are going, backward to the days where the rich get their way and the working class get shafted. Now remember, before the pandemic, blue-collar workers, middle-income and entry-level workers were all seeing real wage gains. Average median household income rose more than $6,000 after decades of wage stagnation.

A focus by President Trump on the American worker, protecting American manufacturing and holding China and other trade sheets accountable, that helped him grow his support among working-class Americans this election, including more Latinos, Black men and Asian-Americans.

Now, those people did not have to like his tweets to love his results.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The economy got way better. Under the Obama administration, unemployment went double – from eight to sixteen. Under President Trump, it got to the lowest ever recorded in US history. Yes, we need Trump forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: But all the gains that our workers made are about to be wiped out, if Biden’s new globalist cabal has its way. They are already sharpening their knives to cut wages and ship jobs offshore. This raises a question – will AOC and the squad stand mute while American workers are crushed under this agenda? Or will they work with the American populists to resist anti-worker policies?

Here are a few examples of where she could work with Republicans to block corporatist Dems. Number one, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Biden’s handlers want him to jump back into this trade agreement that Trump nixed. Well, Trump was right; it’s a job killer. Before the pandemic, we had the strongest economy in the G-7 and record-low unemployment, and we still do.

The last thing we need is a jobs-killing trade deal. No matter what Biden’s gurus claim, ruining lives of working people here will not give us more influence in Asia. So, if you are Democrat and you somehow think that TPP was a mis-Trump opportunity, recall what Hillary Clinton said about it in 2016.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

INGRAHAM: Well, Hillary knew that working-class voters didn’t want this deal because they knew it would mean lower wages for them and fewer jobs at home. There is great chance for AOC here and she should take it. By the way, National Review is also for the TPP – so, that should give her some solace.

Number two, enforce the USMCA. Now, AOC voted against it which was an unfortunate mistake – it was because of climate issues. But, she could still insist that its labor provisions at the very least are honored. So, we force more auto production here in the United States; that’s good for American workers.

Number three, continue to weaken the world trade organization. Ocasio- Cortez could insist that US trade policy be made here, by Americans and for Americans. After all she’s a member of congress, so why would she want to give away congressional power over trade? She shouldn’t.

Now number four, AOC could insist that the next US trade rep be a populist or a corporatist. Heck, I know this seems bizarre or never going to happen, but she might even consider inviting Trump’s USTR Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to lunch; he’s brilliant. He knows all the tricks of multinational corporations and I think that actually both enjoy the exchange; no harm.

And number five, she could work to accelerate efforts to decouple from China both economically and politically. Her caucus members support human rights and China is among the worst offenders in the world. Why should our free economy be open to their worker abusing companies?

And finally number six, she could form a coalition with key conservatives and some Democrats to urge that we bring our troops home finally from the Middle East. If progressives are truly anti-war, then they must not be silent. As a bipartisan establishment, urges – urging that we still sent troops overseas and stop troop withdrawals.

Now, all six of these steps would be popular with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s supporters on the Left. And if she doubts that, all she has to do is talk to unions like the steelworkers and the UAW, or ask the young millennials, whether they think we should still be sending troops to Kandahar.

I know what many of you were thinking though, this is all – common on, Laura, this is just all a pipedream, but I’m not sure. AOC has already shown a willingness on some issues to work with conservatives. She and Ted Cruz signed a letter; they kind of snipe on Twitter sometimes, but they signed a letter criticizing Apple for removing a pro-Hong Kong app, also slammed the NBA for putting its profits from China over free speech rights. They also want to work together to reign in lobbyists.

But look who is Biden’s – look who is on Biden’s transition team. According to the Wall Street Journal, at least 40 people serving on President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition team are or were once registered lobbyists.

Now, the establishment usually wins because the establishment has enough money to buy off candidates with fat donations and instant celebrity status. Now, remember, Donald Trump didn’t get the flattering magazine covers and neither did the First Lady despite her grace and beauty because neither agreed to play ball. Most people aren’t strong enough to resist the temptation.

But this is an old tactic by the elites. Remember back in 1998, Hillary got glamor shots in Vogue; then Huma Abedin, remember her, she was in Vogue in 2007. And of course, Susan Rice got her shot in 2013. It’s always the same. Play ball on the economic issues, don’t interfere with globalization or maybe even help out with outsourcing, and we’ll make you a star.

We’ll give you the cultural power to beat up on conservatives, but when it comes to money and foreign policy, we expect you to go along with the global elites. So Hillary and Huma and Susan, they all thought probably they were going to help the working people too. But in the end, the rich got richer and China got stronger. And the working people, well, they turned to Donald Trump.

So, it is going to be interesting to see AOC’s next move. In the last few months, the establishment has shown her the carrot, the cover of Vanity Fair of course, and the stick leaks about how AOC is hurting the Democratic Party.

So if she goes along on the China and trade issue and helps the tech pros richer, she’ll have a one-way ticket with the in-crowd. And if she leaves politics, they will make her an instant multi-millionaire. But if she stands up to the establishment on China and if she fights against the TPP, if she tries to end foolish wars, well then she’ll get a very different treatment.

The choice is hers and she’ll have to make it soon. By working with the populists, she can really help working people. And for many folks, that’s even better than being on the cover of Vogue or Vanity Fair, and that’s “The Angle.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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