Top House Dem to Ocasio-Cortez: ‘Don’t attack your own people’

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) warned freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Romney helps GOP look for new path on climate change Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars MORE (D-N.Y.) to rein in her criticism of fellow Democrats, saying she shouldn’t “attack your own people.”

“I’m sure Ms. Cortez means well, but there’s almost an outstanding rule: Don’t attack your own people,” Cleaver told Politico. “We just don’t need sniping in our Democratic Caucus.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“She needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star?” another House Democrat told Politico. “There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.”

The Hill has reached out to Ocasio-Cortez’s office for comment. The representative declined through her staff to be interviewed for the story in Politico, which interviewed a number of Democrats about her.

Ocasio-Cortez was elected to Congress after defeating 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.) in a huge upset in their Democratic primary.

She is the youngest woman elected to Congress and became an immediate star, whose tweets and television appearances gain headlines and attention.

Ocasio-Cortez has focused most of her criticism on Republicans and conservative media but has not been shy about taking on her own party.

She attended a sit-in in Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Omar controversies shadow Dems at AIPAC Five things to watch as AIPAC conference kicks off MORE's office late last year, when the California Democrat was still the House minority leader. She also opposed the Democratic rules package over the inclusion of pay-as-you-go rules that would require Congress to find budget offsets for spending bills — a step she saw as limiting the party's ability to go big on healthcare and climate change.

Cleaver has previously criticized some of the hype surrounding Ocasio-Cortez's rise, telling Fox News last summer that the media has pushed her out to be "some kind of deity."

"I think in some ways the media has pushed the young woman who was victorious in the New York congressional race against Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyBeto could give Biden and Bernie a run for their money Ocasio-Cortez's favorable, unfavorable ratings up: poll Feehery: Dems' embrace of socialism makes a Trump reelection look inevitable MORE to the point that she has been made out as some kind of deity," he said.