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A group of incoming GOP House members, calling themselves the 'Freedom Force,' are trying to counter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's 'Squad

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 30 Nov 2020

<p><img src="https://static2.businessinsider.com/image/5fc4d43550e71a0011557e4b-2000/2020-11-04T034554Z_947005856_RC23WJ9KO849_RTRMADP_3_USA-ELECTION-NEW-YORK.JPG" border="0" alt="Nicole Malliotakis NY GOP freedom force" data-mce-source="Andrew Kelly/Reuters" data-mce-caption="GOP Rep-elect Nicole Malliotakis, a member of the &amp;quotFreedom Force.&amp;quot"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>A group of incoming Republican House members are banding together and calling themselves the "Freedom Force" in an attempt to oppose the Democratic Party's progressive "Squad."</p><p>One member of the new GOP group, Rep.-elect Burgess Owens of Utah, <a href="https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rep-elect-burgess-owens-retired-nfler-touts-gops-freedom-force-to-oppose-aocs-squad">told Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle"</a> that they will offer "a contrast to the hard left."</p><p>"We have a 'Freedom Force' versus 'Squad,'" he said.</p><p>According to "The Ingraham Angle," the group also includes Reps.-elect Nicole Malliotakis of New York; Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida; Michelle Steele of California; Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma; Victoria Spartz of Indiana; Burgess Owens of Utah; and Carlos Gimnez and Byron Donalds, both of Florida.</p><p>The Squad got its nickname when then-Reps.-electAyanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib tweeted a group photo with the hashtag #SquadGoals, <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-squad-how-aoc-ilhan-omar-ayanna-pressley-rashida-tlaib-got-their-nickname/">according to CBS News</a>.</p><p>Pressley told the network in 2019 the group happened organically. "And then it morphed into this thing," she said.</p><p>Now, the Squad's opposing number wants to reconstruct the same energy for the Republican Party.</p><p>Freedom Force group members have espoused an established Republican attachment to ideas of patriotism, and said they oppose what they call "socialism" within Democratic ranks.</p><p><img src="https://static1.businessinsider.com/image/5fc4d33950e71a0011557e4a-2400/the%20squad.jpg" border="0" alt="the squad" data-mce-source="Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images" data-mce-caption="U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks as Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) listen during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 15, 2019 in Washington, DC."></p><p>Omarwho, along with the rest of the Squad, was <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/2020-house-elections-results">reelected in 2020</a>slammed the new group in an interview with <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/blog/meet-press-blog-latest-news-analysis-data-driving-political-discussion-n988541">NBC News</a>.</p><p>"I mean it sounds ridiculous to me. I think they think they're in high school. We're in Congress," she said.</p><p><a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/blog/meet-press-blog-latest-news-analysis-data-driving-political-discussion-n988541/ncrd1248407#blogHeader">NBC News has credited</a> Salazar for the "Freedom Force" idea.</p><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en" data-cards="" data-conversation=""><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I was born in Miamia community built by survivors<br><br>my parents fled Castro's socialist nightmare.<br><br>we can't just let the socialist left destroy the American Dream for our children!<br><br>join The Freedom Force &amp; FIGHT BACK today!<a href="https://t.co/o0E4iHjBj4">https://t.co/o0E4iHjBj4</a></p> Mara Elvira Salazar(@MaElviraSalazar) <a href="https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/1329919411868880898'ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 20, 2020</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><p>Meanwhile, Owens emphasized the group's ethnic, national, and gender diversity. The 2020 elections saw the Republican Party enter record numbers of women into Congress for the first time.</p><p>Malliotakis <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/11/29/politics/nicole-malliotakis-nancy-mace-republican-women-congress/index.html">told CNN</a> that it was her motivation to "provide a counter-view" to the all-female Squad, who came to prominence in the 2018 midterm elections.</p><p>"One of the reasons we were so motivated to run was seeing the Democratic women being elected in 2018 that don't necessarily reflect our values, particularly those who are self-described socialists," she said.</p><p>"This group will be talking and giving a contrast to the hard left," Owens told "The Ingraham Angle," with a particular set of shared values.</p><p>"We have a group of people who believe in our country, believe in God, country, family, respect for women and authority," he said.</p><p>He added that he thinks the Squad "just hates everything I just mentioned."</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/gop-house-members-freedom-force-counter-aoc-squad-2020-11#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/warren-buffett-modest-home-bought-31500-looks-2017-6">Warren Buffett lives in a modest house that's worth .001% of his total wealth</a></p>
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