A 30-second advertisement showing the image of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez erupting into flames aired during ABC’s Democratic debate in Houston on Thursday, sparking widespread condemnations from shocked viewers.
The ad, paid for by a Republican-affiliated PAC named New Faces GOP, features its founder and former GOP congressional candidate in California, Elizabeth Heng, warning about liberal politicians who embrace socialism.
“This is the face of socialism and ignorance,” Heng says as a photo of Ocasio-Cortez catches fire and burns away to reveal skulls from the Cambodian Civil War in the 1970s from which her father fled.
“Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horrors of socialism?” Heng continues. “My father was minutes from death in Cambodia before a forced marriage saved his life. That’s socialism: Forced obedience. Starvation. Mine is a face of freedom. My skin is not white. I’m not outrageous, racist, nor socialist. I’m a Republican.”
The ad appears to have ran on at least one Sinclair station in the Washington, D.C., area, reports The Washington Examiner.
Ocasio-Cortez slammed the ad on Twitter.
“Republicans are running TV ads setting pictures of me on fire to convince people they aren’t racist. Life is weird!” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Know that this wasn’t an ad for young conservatives of color – that was the pretense. What you just watched was a love letter to the GOP’s white supremacist case.”
BURNING #AOC PHOTO
One of the most notable (and disturbing) aspects of the #DemDebate wasn't about any of the candidates on stage.
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) September 13, 2019
How the hell did this Elizabeth Heng ad where @AOC’s face is burned up clear ABC network standards and practices?
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 13, 2019
ABC can go to hell. Running propaganda with a picture of @AOC being set on fire, with dead bodies & skulls in the background, was absolutely despicable. People need to be fired over this. It’s ridiculous & evil. ABC profited off of it, during the #DemDebate. Shame on ABC. Shame. pic.twitter.com/o7msRtQI3J
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 13, 2019