Pelosi acknowledges criticism from Ocasio-Cortez, younger members: 'I'm not dismissing her'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Inflation jumps at fastest pace since 2008 | Biden 'encouraged' on bipartisan infrastructure deal Overnight Health Care: CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 | House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill | Panel blasts COVID-19 response Biden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure MORE (D-Calif.) said in a new interview that she is receptive to the concerns of younger, more progressive members of her caucus and disagrees with assertions she is not grooming political newcomers for leadership roles. 

"Why does AOC complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?" reporter Leslie Stahl asked Pelosi during an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday evening, referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez hits Biden for taking 'the side of occupation' in Mideast violence Yang: Those who thought tweet in support of Israel was 'overly simplistic' are correct McConnell hits Democratic critics of Israel MORE (D-N.Y.).

"I don't know," the Speaker replied. "You'll have to ask her ... because we are." 


Stahl then commented that Pelosi's quip was "kind of sharp, kind of dismissive." 

"I'm not dismissing her," Pelosi responded. "I respect her. I think she's very effective, as are ... many other members of our caucus that the press doesn't pay attention to. But they are there and they are building support for what comes next." 


Since being elected to the House in 2018, Ocasio-Cortez has been critical of Democratic leadership, saying in December it needs to revamp who is setting the agenda and warning “the left isn’t really making a plan" for after Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden 'encouraged' by meeting with congressional leaders on infrastructure Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill Cheney sideshow distracts from important battle over Democrats' partisan voting bill MORE (D-N.Y.) and other members of the Democratic establishment on Capitol Hill retire. 

“I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez said. "How do we fill that vacuum? Because if you create that vacuum, there are so many nefarious forces at play to fill that vacuum with something even worse.”

Pelosi during a closed-door meeting with her caucus in 2019 reportedly urged Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the progressive "squad" not to publicly admonish Democratic leadership ahead of the 2020 election cycle for fear of "playing into the hands" of Republicans. 

“We’re a family and we have our moments,” Pelosi said during the meeting, according to The Associated Press. “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.”

The New York congresswoman has also hinted at a run for one of the state's U.S. Senate seats.

“I’m a no bulls--- kind of person. I’m not playing coy or anything like that,” Ocasio-Cortez told Punchbowl News earlier this month. "I’m still very much in a place where I’m trying to decide what is the most effective thing I can do to help our Congress, our [political] process, and our country actually address the issues of climate change, health care, wage inequality."

Pelosi is 80 years old, and Schumer is 70.