“I’m not really sure why Nancy Pelosi felt the need to hit AOC and Ilhan like this.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-C.A., seemed to take a shot at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Monday – suggesting that the political upstart’s Twitter activism isn’t helping Democrats.
In an interview with USA Today, Pelosi said that her party needs to win elections, not likes on social media.
“While there are people who have a large number of Twitter followers, what’s important is that we have large numbers of votes on the floor of the House,” Pelosi said.
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While Pelosi did not name Ocasio-Cortez, both critics and defenders of the freshman congresswoman interpreted the comments as an attack.
While generally no fans of Pelosi, conservatives cheered the Democratic infighting.
— All American Girl (@AIIAmericanGirI) April 8, 2019
Progressives, meanwhile, voiced dismay at Pelosi’s pushback on their favored wing of the party.
Ryan Grim, The Intercept’s D.C. bureau chief, complained that “Pelosi is utterly unafraid of the left.”
Though it’s not that simple.
Pelosi is Speaker of the House, yet never passes up an opportunity to sideswipe @AOC in an interview. That’s not somebody coming from a feeling of strength.
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) April 9, 2019
Democratic strategist Waleed Shahid, who formerly worked for Ocasio-Cortez, bemoaned Pelosi’s remarks as unnecessary, and interpreted them as also targeting Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-M.N.
I'm not really sure why Nancy Pelosi felt the need to hit AOC and Ilhan like this. pic.twitter.com/91Agbpbqwv
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) April 8, 2019
Omar has over 800,000 Twitter followers, and Ocasio-Cortez has 3.9 million, giving her by far the most reach of any House member. By comparison, Pelosi has 2.4 million followers.
Whereas Pelosi has a long record of political effectiveness, though, Ocasio-Cortez’s signature Green New Deal failed to win a single “yes” vote last month when Republicans brought it to the Senate floor. Although Democratic presidential candidates were among the proposal’s public backers, the party adopted a strategy of voting “present.”
Polls and reporting have shown Ocasio-Cortez losing public support and alienating moderates. But the congresswoman has dismissed those who disapprove of her as bigots and insisted that she is leading a national movement.
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