Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and conservative firebrand Ted Cruz: Unlikely allies

PHOTO: Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl speaks exclusively with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in her first Sunday morning interview since taking office on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," June 16, 2019 on ABC.
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When bipartisanship strikes on Capitol Hill, the playbook traditionally pulls from moderate, centrist, veteran lawmakers keen to compromise and cut a deal.

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Bipartisanship rarely attracts the polar opposites of America's political parties, especially in the modern era.

PHOTO: Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl speaks exclusively with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in her first Sunday morning interview since taking office on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, June 16, 2019 on ABC.
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Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl speaks exclusively with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in her first Sunday morning interview since taking office on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," June 16, 2019 on ABC.

But now, New York Democratic freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who calls herself a "Democratic socialist, " someone whom Republicans regularly taunt but might be envious, could team up with one of the most divisive conservatives on Capitol, former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

It all started May 30 after AOC, as she's become known to her 4.4 million Twitter followers, noticed a tweet from Public Citizen promoting its analysis that nearly two-thirds of lawmakers who exited Congress after the 115th Congress took jobs lobbying or other jobs influencing federal policy.

Enter @tedcruz:

Ocasio-Cortez cautiously replied, telling Cruz "if you're serious about a clean bill, then I'm down. Let's make a deal."

"If we can agree on a bill with no partisan snuck-in clauses, no poison pills, etc -- just a straight, clean ban on members of Congress becoming paid lobbyists - then I'll co-lead the bill with you," she tweeted.

"You're on," Cruz replied.

PHOTO: Senator Ted Cruz questions William Barr, U.S. attorney general, not pictured, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE
Senator Ted Cruz questions William Barr, U.S. attorney general, not pictured, during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019.

About 40 minutes later, Hawaii Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted, "IN." Fifteen minutes later, Freshman Republican Rep. Chip Roy, who served as Cruz's chief of staff in the Senate, offered to co-sponsor the bill with Ocasio-Cortez in the lower chamber.

Voila. Bipartisanship in the era of divided Congress and President Donald Trump was born.

But who would have thought that lightning might strike twice in the same place?

A week later, on June 7, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that birth control "should be over-the-counter," generating a whopping 80,000 retweets and more than 340,000 likes.

Five days later, Cruz, perhaps sensing a little more liberty to freelance after being reelected to a second six-year term in the Senate last fall, sent another trial balloon:

That tweet from Cruz generated more than 60,000 likes and 7,500 retweets.

AOC did not respond publicly to Cruz's second offer to work together, but she confirmed her office is working with Cruz to advance their collaboration beyond their viral tweets.

"Our teams are in communication," Ocasio-Cortez told ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl during an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"We haven't met in person yet, but I do know that we have an ongoing working relationship and I'm extraordinarily excited in seeing what we can accomplish."