On Wednesday, Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, issued a challenge to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the socialist Democratic candidate from New York who has been touted by the head of the Democratic National Committee as "the future of the party."
Citing DNC Chair Tom Perez's high praise of Ocasio-Cortez as leading the party into the future, Shapiro said he's so enthused about the idea of having a civil debate with the Democratic rising star that he's willing to be as generous as the law allows to her campaign.
"I really just want to make a direct appeal to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 'the future' of the Democratic Party, according to Tom Perez, head of the DNC," said Shapiro. "Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, I'm really excited that you've been elevated to that position, and I would love to have a real conversation with you about the issues."
"You’ve noted you think Republicans are afraid to debate you or talk to you or discuss the issues with you," he continued. "Not only am I eager to discuss the issues with you, I’m willing to offer $10,000 to your campaign today for you to come on our ‘Sunday Special,’ and we can have an hour-long conversation about all the topics under the sun, really probe your belief system."
Shapiro even offered to change up the format if she found that more appealing: "Frankly, if you want to raise charity and we’ll do it as a debate, we can do that, too," he said. "However you want to do it, I’m more than willing to talk to you. I would love to have this conversation."
"So let’s make this happen," he concluded. "Let’s make America a more civil and interesting place. Let’s do this thing."
Shapiro's challenge comes as Ocasio-Cortez continues to make the rounds on various media outlets to promote her democratic socialist platform, which includes "Medicare for all," a federally-mandated living wage, free higher education for all, and abolishing ICE.
Many of her interviews have been widely criticized on the Right for her failure to explain how the federal government will pay for "all that free stuff" she's promoting — something Shapiro highlighted Thursday, citing a recent interview:
Below are excerpts from Ocasio-Cortez's official platform (formatting adjusted):
Medicare For All
Improved and Expanded Medicare for All is the ethical, logical, and affordable path to ensuring no person goes without dignified healthcare. Medicare for All will reduce the existing costs of healthcare (and make Medicare cheaper, too!) by allowing all people in the US to buy into a universal healthcare system. What’s even better is that Improved and Expanded Medicare for All includes full vision, dental, and mental healthcare - because we know that true healthcare is about the whole self, not just your yearly physical....
A Federal Jobs Guarantee
Alexandria endorses a Federal Jobs Guarantee, because anyone who is willing and able to work shouldn’t struggle to find employment. A Federal Jobs Guarantee would create a baseline standard for employment that includes a $15 minimum wage (pegged to inflation), full healthcare, and child and sick leave for all. This proposal would dramatically upgrade the quality of employment in the United States, by providing training and experience to workers while bringing much-needed public services to our communities in areas such as parks service, childcare and environmental conservation....
Higher Education / Trade School For All
Roughly every 100 years, the United States expands its public education system to match its increasingly advanced economy. It’s now time to expand our national education system to include tuition-free public college and trade school....
Immigration Justice / Abolish ICE
It’s time to abolish ICE, clear the path to citizenship, and protect the rights of families to remain together....