Huckabee rips Ocasio-Cortez over 'astonishing' remarks about uptick in NYC crime

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) ripped Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocrats hammer Trump for entertaining false birther theory about Harris Overnight Energy: EPA finalizes rollback of Obama-era oil and gas methane emissions standards | Democratic lawmakers ask Interior to require masks indoors at national parks | Harris climate agenda stresses need for justice Markey riffs on JFK quote in new ad touting progressive bona fides MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday for her "astonishing" remarks on New York City's increased crime rates.

Huckabee, speaking on Fox News, criticized the first-term Democratic lawmaker for saying at a recent virtual town hall meeting that factors contributing to the increased crime could include high unemployment and people who "need to feed their child" because "they don't have any money."

“There’s a big difference between shoplifting and cold-blooded murder, and for her not to know the difference is frankly astonishing,” Huckabee said on “America's Newsroom."

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Shootings in New York are up 46 percent in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2019, with homicides up 21 percent, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD).

“Her saying, ‘People are hungry so they’re going out and lifting bread’  no, they are going out and killing people randomly,” said Huckabee, a Fox News contributor. “You don't kill a 1-year-old because you need some bread. That doesn’t put bread on your table. And that's why the absurdity of her remarks have to be called out.”

“She needs to walk it back and recognize that violent crime has nothing to do with people's lifting some bread,” he added.

On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on possible causes for the considerable crime spike during the coronavirus recession.

"Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren't paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent and so they go out and they need to feed their child and they don't have money," she said. "They’re put in a position where they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”

Over Independence Day weekend, 68 people were shot in New York, leaving 10 dead.

The shootings come as the NYPD says retirement filings have more than quadrupled from the same time last year.