Ocasio-Cortez accuses Pelosi of ‘persistent singling out’ of women of color: It’s ‘outright disrespectful’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) accused Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of repeatedly singling out newly elected women of color in the House, saying that the veteran congresswoman’s criticism has become “outright disrespectful.”

Ocasio-Cortez made the remarks in an interview with The Washington Post late Wednesday after a day of heightened tensions between Pelosi and House Democrats. 

“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 told the Post.{mosads}

“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,” she added.

The remarks came hours after Pelosi, at a closed-door meeting of the caucus earlier Wednesday, admonished her party for openly attacking one another over policy disputes. Pelosi has consistently dismissed some of the policies floated by the more liberal members of the caucus, most recently using a New York Times interview over the weekend to question the influence of four outspoken freshmen known as “the squad” — Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ocasio-Cortez. 

“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” she said to The New York Times. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who has been outspoken on a bevy of issues since being sworn in, responded to the comment on Twitter on Saturday, saying, “That public ‘whatever’ is called public sentiment.”

“And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country,” she added. 

In a closed-door caucus meeting Wednesday, Pelosi called on Democrats to stop taking public shots at one another, according to a source in the room. 

“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,” Pelosi said. 

Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

Ocasio-Cortez has reportedly been urged to talk with Pelosi, though she told the Post she isn’t interested in doing so. Ocasio-Cortez’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The Washington Post, citing lawmakers who know both lawmakers, reported that Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez have not met for a one-on-one meeting since the New York lawmaker declined Pelosi’s request to join a committee focused on climate change. 

Pelosi reportedly called out Ocasio-Cortez for rejecting the offer during a private progressive caucus meeting just days later, according to the Post. The House Speaker has since made comments dismissing the Ocasio-Cortez-backed Green New Deal and Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise primary win over former Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), the Post noted. 

“The third and fourth time [she insulted me], it was like, ‘This is unnecessary, but I’m not going to pick a fight over it. Whatever, I’ll be the punching bag if that’s what they want me to be,’” Ocasio-Cortez said. 

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ayanna Pressley Ilhan Omar Nancy Pelosi Rashida Tlaib
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