AOC opponent Tina Forte says New York City is 'a mess' and guns aren't to blame

"I don't understand how anyone can look at this and not look at it as lunacy, what's going on. Not only in New York, but in our country,' Forte says, addressing rising crime in cities

Updated: September 8, 2022 - 11:48pm

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Republican House candidate Tina Forte, who is running against New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said Democratic politicians are wrongly blaming guns for the rise of criminal activity in major cites across the country.

An outspoken small business owner who achieved notoriety on the internet as "Bronx Tina" in a series of combatively pro-Trump, expletive-laden videos, Forte won the Aug. 23 GOP primary in New York's 14th Congressional District with 67% of the vote.

"They're blaming the guns right away" for rising violent crime, Forte told Just the News. "They're not blaming the woke policies. They're not blaming them whatsoever. They're not blaming the bail reform. They're not blaming letting the violent criminals back out, back out onto the streets, no matter what they do. They go in front of a judge and they're just let back out."

Forte argued that the Second Amendment is intended to protect the American public from tyranny.

"New York is a mess," Forte said. "The district is a mess. The city is a mess. There's just so much going on. I don't understand how anyone can look at this and not look at it as lunacy, what's going on. Not only in New York, but in our country. 

"They're blaming guns, okay, and we all know that it wasn't; they are not gun owners doing these violent crimes. Okay, the Second Amendment is to protect us from tyranny.

"There's a lot of crime in New York, carjackings, deaths, everything, it just keeps rising and rising, and [New York Mayor Eric Adams] wants to come out and they want to make speeches about gun control, so you know what? I don't think they're getting it."

Forte said she thinks immigrants in Ocasio-Cortez's district are ready for a change in leadership. She said legal immigrants are unhappy with New York City's attempt to allow noncitizens to vote in elections. The City Council's move was rejected by a judge as unconstitutional.

"I know store owners, they're afraid to open their doors, not only because of the lockdowns that they've created and these mandates, but you could just walk into a store and rob someone at night at knifepoint and walk out," she said. "So you have these people that came here the right way, and now they see their American Dream — and that's what they came here for, the American Dream — fall apart right in front of them, and it has to stop. We let BLM right freely two years ago in 2020."

Forte slammed Ocasio-Cortez for advocating against Amazon's HQ2 coming to New York, where the tech giant expected to create up to 25,000 jobs.

She also argued that Ocasio-Cortez is hypocritical for traveling to Florida while supporting COVID-related mandates.

"She supports lockdowns," Forte noted. "She supports mask mandates. They went to Florida for their freedom. She chooses not to wear a mask. She lives a lavish lifestyle."

Ocasio-Cortez's visit sparked a response from the state's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis at the time.

"If I had a dollar for every lockdown politician who decided to escape to Florida over the last two years, I'd be a pretty doggone wealthy man, let me tell you," he said.