Dem lawmaker praises Ocasio-Cortez for her 'spunk'

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: FTC reportedly settles with Facebook for B fine | Trump calls to regulate Facebook's crypto project | Court rules Pentagon can award B 'war cloud' contract | Study shows automation will hit rural areas hardest Border Patrol chief was member of secret Facebook group for agents: report Live coverage: House Oversight examines Trump family separation policy MORE (D-Miss.) praised progressive freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPhiladelphia mayor: Trump would 'go to hell' if he had to go back to where he came from Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout The four Republicans who voted to condemn Trump's tweets MORE (D-N.Y.), saying he glories "in her spunk."

Thompson said on Wednesday that the Democratic Party as a whole could use more “young and talented” lawmakers like Ocasio-Cortez.

“For AOC, I glory in her spunk because we need young, talented people,” Thompson told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons during an interview that aired on "Rising."

Thompson added that he thinks the various skirmishes within the Democratic Party are “healthy,” citing the last thing they need is a party “where everyone agrees.”

Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman to be elected to Congress in November, months after she shocked the political world by upsetting 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D) in New York's 14th District.

Even though Congress has been traditionally white and male, the 116th Congress made history with a record number of both women and minority lawmakers.

The number of African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic lawmakers are at new highs.

The freshman class also boasted a number of historic firsts. This includes the elections of Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibScaramucci calls Trump tweets 'racist and unacceptable' House Democrat pushes for censuring Trump in closed-door meeting Black Caucus leader calls Trump's attacks on minority lawmakers 'despicable' MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBen Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist Trump thanks 'vicious young Socialist Congresswomen' for his poll numbers House expected to vote Wednesday on Green's impeachment effort MORE (D-Minn.), the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.

Thompson said the freshman class is a “melting pot of America manifesting itself" and a sign that the party is "maturing." He also emphasized that diversity is a strength, not a weakness, for the Democrats. 

“It’s the maturing and broadening, rightfully so, of the Democratic Party and a recognition that our diversity is our strength,” he told Hill.TV.

— Tess Bonn