Tennessee county GOP defends meme mocking Ocasio-Cortez's intelligence

Tennessee county GOP defends meme mocking Ocasio-Cortez's intelligence
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The chair of a Tennessee county Republican group is defending the decision to share a meme that appears to mock Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezProgressives soaring after big primary night 'Absolutely incredible': Ocasio-Cortez congratulates Cori Bush on upset victory over Lacy Clay Biden needs to bring religious Americans into the Democratic fold MORE’s (D-N.Y.) intelligence.

The Williamson County Republican Party shared the image in an official party newsletter, according to The Tennesseean. The image appears to be taken from a previous sit-down interview the congresswoman gave and features the moderator asking Ocasio-Cortez about her opinion of Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion.

"[That's] the only two ways Mexicans can cross the river,” Ocasio-Cortez responds in the image.

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Debbie Deaver, chair of the Williamson County GOP, defended the use of the meme, calling it “political satire.”

"Allowing a few people on the left to whip up media outrage over political satire is just another example of the left manipulating the press to present their narrative as truth and all other views as wrong or worse, racist," she said in an email to The Tennessean.

"The Republican Party of Williamson County will not let those outside our organization tell us what we can or can’t say,” she added, before noting that no one within the party has complained to her about the image.

The William County GOP did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

The Tennessean noted that the meme’s appearance in an official party newsletter led to backlash within the community.

Williamson County School Board member Eric Welch (R) criticized the party for thinking the image might be “humorous.”

“It wasn't funny, or clever and it certainly wasn't worthy of the Party of Lincoln,” Welch said in a Facebook post. “Speaking as a Republican, this doesn't represent me or my beliefs.”

Williamson County Democratic Party Chairwoman Holly McCall also told The Tennessean that the image represented a “tired, old racist joke.”

"It's not even shocking to see something like this coming out of (the party). Instead of addressing issues, they would rather take the low road,” McCall said.

The Tennessean said it is unclear when the newsletter was sent.

Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.