A group of newly-elected Republican House members, including former NFL player Burgess Owens, has banded together to create a “Freedom Force” to oppose New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Squad.”
“This group will give a contrast to the hard left,” Owens, who won a House race in Utah this month, said on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle on Friday. “We have ‘Freedom Force’ versus ‘Squad.'”
“The Squad” refers to four hard-left Democratic representatives led by AOC, a self-described “democratic socialist.” AOC and her allies — Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) — won their House seats in 2018 and won re-election this year.
Owens said the “Freedom Force,” made up of women and people of color, will protect small business owners.
“Business ownership is the foundation of our freedom. It’s where our middle class comes from,” the former NFL player said on Fox & Friends Weekend on Sunday.
The group reportedly includes at least eight Republican House members, Reps.-elect Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.), Michelle Steel (Calif.), Stephanie Bice (Okla.), Victoria Spartz (Ind.), Carlos Gimenez (Fla.), Maria Elvira Salazar (Fla.), Byron Donalds (Fla.), and Owens.
“We have different cultures, backgrounds, colors. But what we have in common is that we have a love for our country… and we’re going to make sure we stay free,” Owens said.
“I think what you’re going to see is a group of individuals who are going to serve as a counterbalance to the values of the socialist squad,” Malliotakis said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. She called the group a “natural alliance.”
“We don’t believe we should be dismantling the economy. We don’t believe we should be destroying free-market principles. We don’t believe in the Green New Deal. We don’t believe in packing the courts,” Malliotakis explained.
Republicans picked up key House seats in the 2020 election, bringing a record number of new pro-life women into Congress. Republicans gained votes among racial minorities and a few Cuban-American Republicans won House seats in Florida.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.