Democratic lawmaker unloads on Ocasio-Cortez, chief of staff for 'using the race card'

Rep. Wm. Lacy ClayWilliam (Lacy) Lacy ClayThe FCC must act to promote minority-owned broadcasting Cori Bush hits her stride by drawing on activist past Lobbying world MORE (D-Mo.) unloaded on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNoncitizen voting doesn't pass this test McCarthy pleads with Republicans to stop infighting: 'Congress is not junior high' Ocasio-Cortez slams McCarthy's 'Ku Klux Klan caucus' after Omar death threat MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday for "using the race card” after Ocasio-Cortez accused Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden marks World AIDS Day with new actions to end HIV epidemic by 2030 DeFazio becomes 19th House Democrat to retire Pelosi: Democrats can't allow 'indecent' Boebert comments to stand MORE (D-Calif.) of being racially insensitive.

Clay, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, fumed at Ocasio-Cortez and the group of progressive lawmakers that includes Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibPelosi: Democrats can't allow 'indecent' Boebert comments to stand Omar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats September video shows Boebert made earlier comments suggesting Omar was a terrorist MORE (Mich.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMace says she won't tolerate members who 'promote bigotry' Pelosi: Democrats can't allow 'indecent' Boebert comments to stand McCarthy pleads with Republicans to stop infighting: 'Congress is not junior high' MORE (Minn.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHouse progressives urge Garland to intervene in ex-environmental lawyer Steven Donziger's case GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips Will media portrayals of Rittenhouse lead to another day in court? MORE (Mass.).

ADVERTISEMENT

“What a weak argument, because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me,” Clay said. “I could care less. I could really care less. I agree with the Speaker. Four people, four votes out of 240 people, who cares.”

In an interview with The Washington Post on Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez accused Pelosi of singling out newly elected women of color.

Pelosi had previously been dismissive of the four freshman female lawmakers, saying that despite their large presence on social media, they only account for four votes in the Democratic caucus.

“It shows you how weak their argument is when they have to resort and direct racist accusations toward Speaker Pelosi … it’s very disappointing to me,” Clay said.

The Missouri Democrat also described Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti and the progressive group Justice Democrats as “juvenile” and “ignorant.”

The Justice Democrats have endorsed a progressive primary challenger against Clay and other centrist Democrats. Chakrabarti last week sent out a tweet comparing centrist Democrats to "new Southern Democrats" that "certainly seem hell bent to do to black and brown people today what the old Southern Democrats did in the 40s."

“It shows you how ignorant and little history [Chakrabarti] knows, how ignorant he is to American history. How dare he,” Clay said.

“They’re missing the fact that we have a very thin margin of a majority that we’re operating under and apparently it doesn’t matter to Justice Democrats, they just want to get skins. They want to score points for whatever reason. But I find it juvenile, their tactics, I find their ignorance to be beyond belief about American history and about who are really segregationists. And so how dare they try to play the race card at this point, it shows you the weakness of their arguments.”