The New York Democrat made the comments in a Washington Post interview. She seemed to suggest that the House leader from California was being racist.
“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
In a closed-door meeting earlier in the day, Pelosi reportedly scolded progressives for tweeting their grievances with the party and warned them to keep such talk private.
A number of outlets quoted Pelosi, the Democratic leader from California, as saying, “You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK.”
According to an anonymous source in the room, Pelosi’s speech earned applause from the assembled lawmakers, among whom there is reportedly mistrust of Ocasio-Cortez.
However, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a Massachusetts Democrat, who is part of Ocasio-Cortez’s left-wing contingent, told the Post she found Pelosi’s comments “demoralizing.”
“I am worried about the signal that it sends to people I speak to and for, who sent me here with a mandate, and how it affects them.”
How the cold war between Ocasio-Cortez and Pelosi got so hot
Pelosi has repeatedly downplayed the significance of the AOC wing of the Democratic Party. In an interview with The New York Times on Saturday, she chastised Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley and two other progressive freshmen Democrats for last week voting against a $4.6 billion bill for emergency border funding. She said they had made themselves “irrelevant to the process.”
“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi said. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
Ocasio-Cortez quickly fired back on Twitter, saying that by helping to pass the legislation, her fellow Democrats were “blindly” trusting President Donald Trump and bargaining with people’s lives, “& for what?”
Rep. Rashida Tlaib also defended her vote in an ABC interview Wednesday and suggested Pelosi didn’t understand the “no” voters’ “pain” as women of color.
Back in April, Pelosi said during a talk in London that “a glass of water” with “a ‘D’ next to its name” could have won in Ocasio-Cortez’s district or in her own.
In an appearance on ABC’s “60 Minutes” a day earlier, Pelosi denied that the party was “fractured,” dismissing Ocasio-Cortez and crew as “like five people.”
In a February Politico interview, Pelosi dismissed Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal as “the green new dream, or whatever they call it.” She has since sidelined the sweeping proposal, which empowers the government to save the planet and achieve socioeconomic justice.
Conservatives grab the popcorn
After the Post reported on Ocasio-Cortez’s allegations against Pelosi on Wednesday, supporters cheered their standard bearer for taking a stand.
. @AOC gets tough on Pelosi:
"The persistent singling out . . . it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful . . . the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”https://t.co/VRCti8vWT4
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) July 11, 2019
Meanwhile, conservative-leaning commentators mocked Ocasio-Cortez for once again playing a childish game of identity politics.
“Nobody cares what color or gender you are,” podcaster Dave Rubin tweeted Wednesday at Ocasio-Cortez and fellow progressive freshman Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. “You have terrible ideas, gaslight your political opponents and behave like spoiled children.”
Nobody cares what color or gender you are, @AOC @IlhanMN. You have terrible ideas, gaslight your political opponents and behave like spoiled children. Being criticized is part of the job. DM me if you need some advice… pic.twitter.com/STQlAyFKKQ
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) July 11, 2019
Others saw the left’s “everyone we disagree with is racist” chickens coming home to roost, so to speak.
Ocasio-Cortez Suggests Pelosi Is Targeting Her Because Pelosi Is Racist ~ Yes, she went there!
But then again, ‘each other’ is the only group the Left hasn’t called a racist so this is logical😂 https://t.co/SlX4sS5suN
— DON🇺🇸 (@phil4gop) July 11, 2019
Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel tweeted Wednesday: “Dr. Frankenstein is aghast at the results of his experiment.”
This is correct and actually a serious point: lefties all stood by or joined in as AOC’s critics on the right were all automatically painted as racists for merely criticizing her, now suddenly Dr. Frankenstein is aghast at the results of his experiment. https://t.co/seI8uGOzdY
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) July 11, 2019
Pelosi has yet to publicly respond to Ocasio-Cortez. But as the Democrats gear up to take on President Donald Trump and the Republicans in the 2020 election, she may have difficulty continuing to claim that her party is united.
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