Stand-up comedian Jackie Mason was roasted on Twitter Monday after he slammed New York Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a “nutcase” who stands “left of Putin.” The comments came in a pre-recorded Sunday interview with Breitbart News’ Jerusalem chief Aaron Klein.
A registered Republican and a vocal supporter of Israel, Mason’s rant appears to have been induced by an edited interview clip pushed by right-wing media outlets last week in which Ocasio-Cortez characterized Israel’s conflict with Palestine as an “occupation.”
“She studied international relations but not in a university,” the 87-year-old comic said. “She must have studied that in her kitchen because she knows as much about international relations as I know about skiing … To call Israel an occupier makes you not only ignorant but a nutcase. How am I occupying my own house?”
He then went on to attack the Democrat’s platform, which includes Medicare for all, regulation for big banks, and the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“Calling her to the left doesn’t even tell her story,” Mason jokes. “She makes Putin look like he is on the right. She’s to the left of Putin.”
It was this comment, in particular, that drew criticism online. Parker Molloy pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not the communist that Mason appears to believe he is.
Jackie Mason 100% thinks Russia is still a communist country lol— arbitraging MREs to swindle fascists as praxis (@rainaftersno) July 23, 2018
Others were amused that the Caddyshack 2 actor seemed to be a regular political commentator for the right-wing news outlet.
“Oh shit I wonder what the star of Caddyshack 2 has to say about our current hellscape?”— Justin Yandell (@ShotgunZen) July 23, 2018
Putin, who is widely admired by the European far-right, is notoriously difficult to place on the traditional political spectrum. While he started his career working for the Soviet Union’s main security agency, Putin has authored a uniquely Russian brand of non-ideological conservatism.
None of that matters, of course, when it comes to point scoring. Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in the primary fight for New York’s 14th congressional district, promotes the progressive political position of the ever-growing Democratic Socialist movement and has become a real, regular target for conservatives.
One day before Mason’s interview aired, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) also blasted Ocasio-Cortez as “ignorant” and called the 28-year-old a “girl.”
“You look at this girl Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is, I mean, she’s in a totally different universe,” he said.
DeSantis’ spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment on the remarks. But it’s quite clear that the aim was to undermine the leftist, who’s seen by many on the right as a threat.