Local Tennessee GOP Chair Defends Meme Mocking Ocasio-Cortez

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The Williamson County, Tennessee Republican Party recently emailed a newsletter with a meme mocking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), drawing criticism from at least one local Republican official.

The county’s GOP chair on Wednesday defended the newsletter to a local paper and blamed “the left manipulating the press” for negative coverage.

“What’s your opinion on Roe v. Wade?” a text box above PBS “Firing Line” host Margaret Hoover’s head reads in the meme. Hoover interviewed the then-congressional candidate in July.

“Thats [sic] the only two ways Mexicans can cross the river,” the text box above Ocasio-Cortez’s head responds.

The Tennessean flagged the meme in an article Wednesday, reporting that it appeared the newsletter had been sent by Williamson County GOP Chair Debbie Deaver.

Deaver did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment. Neither did Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) nor Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who both call Williamson County home).

But Deaver was defiant in an email to the Tennessean.

“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 wrote. “The Republican Party of Williamson County will not let those outside our organization tell us what we can or can’t say.”

A Republican school board member for Williamson County, Eric Welch, said in a Facebook post referring to the meme on Monday: “The text suggested it was meant to be humorous. It absolutely was not. It wasn’t funny, or clever and it certainly wasn’t worthy of the Party of Lincoln. Speaking as a Republican, this doesn’t represent me or my beliefs. Please do better. Please be better.”

A watermark in the corner in the meme refers to CY Satire. A Facebook page sharing that name posted the same meme on Jan. 7.

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