Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) announced on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that, “after much deliberation,” she was electing to not attend President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
“I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution. None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. She added that would be answering questions from constituents on Instagram Live to explain her “deeply personal decision.”
This is a deeply personal decision for each member to make, and a choice I did not take lightly.
I will be hopping on Instagram Live later this evening to connect with my constituents and follow up with their questions about #SOTU.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez joins at least six other House Democrats in boycotting Trump’s speech, as Representatives Al Green (Texas), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), and Frederica Wilson (Fla.) have all said publicly they would not attend.
“Because of an impeached, reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted president – who is still engaging in a coverup, the state of the House, the state of the Senate, and the #StateOfTheUnion are divided,” Green tweeted. “I will NOT attend #SOTU2020.”
At least six Democrats did not attend Trump’s State of the Union last year, after 14 skipped the 2018 address.
Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday in an interview with Time magazine that the Democratic party has to “rally behind” the eventual nominee to beat Trump.
“It’s incredibly divisive to do so, and very demoralizing, which is a direct threat in November,” she said. “The moment you start playing games trying to deny whoever is the nominee, we really start to get into dangerous territory in terms of defeating Trump.”
In January, Ocasio-Cortez complained that “Democrats can be too big of a tent.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed off criticism of her decision to invite Trump to deliver remarks just one day before the final vote on his impeachment in a Monday interview with The New York Times.
“It will have a beginning, a middle and an end — and then it will be over,” she said. “So what’s the big deal?”