Kevin O’Leary, a business mogul and “Shark Tank” investor, strongly criticized the economic policies of the Democratic party and singled out Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for her role in “destroying jobs.”
Speaking on “CNN This Morning” on Friday, O’Leary cited a specific example of a project that was relocated from New York to Norway due to the state being deemed “uninvestable.”
“The regulatory environment is punitive,” the investor said. “I had a project in Upstate New York behind the grid in Niagara Falls for electricity — a global data center we were building. Eventually, it got so bad with the politicians in the local region and the state policy we moved it to Norway, and all the jobs. Norway has it now — thousands of jobs coming out of that.”
“I mean, that’s New York: uninvestable,” O’Leary added. “Sorry, don’t shoot the messenger. Just telling you the way it is. That’s it: uninvestable.”
“I think we’d get some pushback from our elected officials in New York,” CNN co-host Kaitlan Collins pushed back before New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul was brought up.
“I’ll debate them any time of the day you want, particularly AOC,” O’Leary responded, in reference to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York self-described democratic socialist. “She’s great at killing jobs. She kills jobs by the thousands.”
“Where did Amazon take their jobs? They took them away from her. She threatened to sue them if they created jobs. I mean, this is a reality,” he added.
“He’s saying what a lot of people are saying, especially with this Amazon thing in New York,” co-host Don Lemon acknowledged.
Don Lemon backs O'Leary up: "He's saying what a lot of people are saying …" pic.twitter.com/APScMibJPC
— The Recount (@therecount) March 3, 2023
Around four years ago, Amazon withdrew its plans to construct a significant headquarters in New York City due to objections raised by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats. The project was projected to generate approximately 25,000 job opportunities.
On Twitter, AOC attempted to push back on O’Leary’s claims, but she fell way short.
“If it’s so ‘uninvestable,’ then why is NYC home to some of the most billionaires in the world? This is what billionaires do. They leverage their power to gain platforms and spread unsubstantiated claims to push policies that are even more favorable to them than they already are,” she wrote.
Several social media users responded by explaining that there is a difference between living somewhere and investing there.
1. Billionaires can live anywhere they want, even in tax and regulatory hellscapes like your city.
2. “Living” there and “investing” there are two different things, galaxy brain.
— USA Features Media (@UsaFeatures) March 5, 2023
Because they can afford to live there? And even so, they are drifting toward Florida. Like O’Leary, who lives in Miami. pic.twitter.com/VMxyJrGm2b
— Jim Stinson (@jimstinson) March 4, 2023
You push socialist policies that will never solve the problems of society and instead have produced tyranny and mass death as the overriding features of all places they were imposed
— Bill Gertz (@BillGertz) March 4, 2023
They live in NYC. They do not create jobs there.
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) March 4, 2023
— 𝕔hi𝓁𝓁iຖ໐iˢ (@chiIIum) March 4, 2023