I’m no Chris Cuomo fan, but he has appropriately embarrassed the creator of the New Faces GOP PAC, Elizabeth Heng, the woman behind that contemptible TV ad depicting a burning photo of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and comparing socialism to the nightmarish Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia.
The ad never should have been aired, and as Cuomo pointed out during an interview on CNN on Friday, it clearly incites violence.
In the ad, Heng says: “Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horror of socialism? 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 or socialist. I’m a Republican.”
In one of several tweets in response, Ocasio-Cortez said of Republicans, ABC, and the Sinclair Broadcast Group, “They profit from burning my likeness on TV. But who pays for heightened security? Who answers the phones for the threats resulting from a violent, false ad?”
Cuomo set up his interview with a grinning Heng by saying, “Uh, you may have to change the name of the PAC to ‘New Faces With a Hole Burning Through ‘Em PAC,’ because that’s what you did to AOC.”
Corny, yes, but still accurate. Heng’s smile quickly faded.
Heng then awkwardly responded by saying, “Absolutely not. The only thing, the thing is, is Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the face of socialism. Throughout history, socialism has killed lives, including those in my very own family. And so I was merely wanting to force the discussion of talking about what true socialism is in our country, and to force that debate.”
Cuomo pointed out that Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge weren’t actually about socialism, but rather “him being an evil human being.” Heng’s response was mostly rambling nonsense.
Asked for examples of what the hell she’s talking about, Heng responded with more awkwardness: “If you look at it, they are, they represent socialism.”
“But socialism doesn’t mean ‘shoot you dead in the streets,’” Cuomo countered.
It was downhill from there.
As Slate noted, Heng was a former staffer for Republican Rep. Ed Royce of California, the former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who retired from Congress this year. And last year, Trump nominated Royce’s wife, Marie Royce, to be assistant secretary of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the State Department.
For her part, Heng ran for Representative of California’s 16th congressional district in 2018 against the Democratic incumbent, Jim Costa.
And now she appears to be auditioning for the next season of Trump’s reality TV show presidency (or Fox News).