CNN panel praises AOC's bravery for her 'Tax the Rich' dress at the Met Gala

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A CNN panel on Tuesday featuring New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman and CNN White House correspondent John Harwood praised the controversial “Tax the Rich” dress worn by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., during the Met Gala.

“Because Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended the Met Gala last night, and this may be the dress that is the most remembered from it. On the back of this dress it says Tax The Rich. But this is also — there she is standing next to the designer who is one of the few black designers who was featured at this event. This of course, Maggie, is one of the most expensive and elitist events of the year, and I wonder if you think she thread the needle here with her message and her presence there or not?” CNN anchor Brianna Keilar asked.

Haberman responded that the congresswoman’s dress was a bold and “risky” move.

“I think it is unsurprising to see criticism that there she is hobnobbing with the wealthy. The message of that dress is not a popular message in that crowd. And so there is something risky about doing it. I think that she could continue to preach to people who already agree with her, or she could preach to people who don’t, and she chose to do the latter,” Haberman said.

Harwood appeared to agree with her, dismissing criticisms of AOC partying with the elite.

“I would say it’s the opposite of hobnobbing with the wealthy. And it shows the talent that AOC has. She has a strong belief system. She’s able to articulate that belief system,” Harwood said.

He also complimented Ocasio-Cortez’s dress as “a very strong message” that’s being promoted towards moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V.

“We’re now in this debate over the Biden economic agenda and Joe Manchin’s out saying too big, too fast, too many taxes. And how do progressives counter that? And with AOC, you see she uses her star power to go into that venue, high-profile venue, and drive a very strong message that is now on the front page of newspapers, and we’re talking about it on television,” Harwood said.

Berman later argued that the “outrage” over the dress is misguided. 

“Look, I think if you want to argue whether or not taxing the rich is a good policy, that’s fine. Have that argument. But to be outraged that she wore that dress to the Met Gala, and say it’s somehow hypocritical, requires you to believe that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t realize that the Met Gala has rich people who are hobnobbing behind closed doors,” Berman said.

“People who are outraged about it, that’s how you know that they were stuck by the message. That it hit them. Because she drove something that they didn’t want to be on the front page,” Harwood answered.

While AOC received criticisms of hypocrisy from those who didn’t attend the elite event, it appeared she and her message was welcomed to the $30,000/ticket gala. Several other attendees expressed similar progressive messages through their fashion. 

On Tuesday, The American Accountability Foundation (AAF), a conservative watchdog group, filed an ethics complaint about her attendance, questioning whether she received an “impermissible gift” through her ticket.

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