Huckabee hits back at AOC's 'astonishing' take on rising NYC crime: 'Absurdity' must be called out

Gov. Huckabee reacts to AOC suggesting crime surge due to unemployment: ‘Absurdity’

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggests the crime surge in New York City is likely because struggling residents are forced to shoplift in order to ‘feed their child;’ Former Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Huckabee weighs in on ‘America’s Newsroom.’

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on New York City’s crime uptick “astonishing.”

“There’s a big difference between shoplifting and cold-blooded murder and for her not to know the difference is frankly astonishing,” Huckabee, a Fox News contributor, told “America's Newsroom" on Monday.

Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., suggested over the weekend that the crime surge in New York City is likely because struggling residents are forced to shoplift in order to "feed their child."

In a virtual town hall meeting she hosted Thursday, some clips of which were shared by The Hill, the 30-year-old Democratic congresswoman was asked about the troubling uptick in violent crimes overtaking the city.

“Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now?" she responded. "The fact that people are at a level of economic desperation that we have not seen since the Great Recession?"

"Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren't paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent and so they go out, and they need to feed their child and they don't have money," Ocasio-Cortez continued, adding that “they’re put in a position where they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”

The latest jobless claims figures from the Labor Department push the number of job losses since the shutdown began to nearly 50 million – or roughly 31 percent of the nation's workforce.

NYC SEES STAGGERING SHOOTING NUMBERS, COPS WARN OF 'STORM ON HORIZON'

More than 1.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending on July 4, showing that many workers are still losing their jobs even as the labor market starts to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown.

Host John Roberts brought up the fact that a 1-year-old was shot and killed and three other people were injured late Sunday night at a family cookout in a Brooklyn park, according to authorities.

“Her saying, ‘people are hungry so they’re going out and lifting bread,’ no, they are going out and killing people randomly,” Huckabee said.

“You don't kill a 1-year-old because you need some bread, that doesn’t put bread on your table and that's why the absurdity of her [Ocasio-Cortez’s] remarks have to be called out.”

“She needs to be held accountable for this,” he continued. “She needs to walk it back and recognize that violent crime has nothing to do with people's lifting some bread.”

He went on to say, “If she's really interested in it, why did she kill thousands of jobs that could have helped people in her community when Amazon wanted to come? Or why doesn't she open a soup kitchen?”

“There's a lot of things that could be done to help people who legitimately have physical needs and food needs, but violent crime ain't one of them,” Huckabee added.

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The New York Police Department (NYPD) has reported a staggering increase in shootings and violent crimes in recent weeks. On Saturday, the New York Post reported 15 shootings in 15 hours, just one week after the city saw a bloody July Fourth weekend with 44 shootings and at least eight killed.

Fox News’ Yael Halon and David Aaro, as well as FOX Business’ Megan Henney, contributed to this report.

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