Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAyanna Pressley's 'squad' of congresswomen offers support after she opens up about alopecia Here are the 10 senators who voted against Trump's North American trade deal Artist paints Michelle Obama, other women as battered in campaign against domestic violence MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday criticized a New York Times editor’s tweet suggesting Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Michigan governor urges Zuckerberg to enforce community guidelines after hate speech, threats surface Ayanna Pressley's 'squad' of congresswomen offers support after she opens up about alopecia MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarAyanna Pressley's 'squad' of congresswomen offers support after she opens up about alopecia With surge in anti-Semitism, political leaders need to be aggressive and reflective in response Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair endorses Sanders MORE (D-Minn.) did not represent the Midwest.

Jonathan Weisman, deputy Washington editor of The New York Times, made the comments in response to Justice Democrats spokesman Waleed Shahid, who noted that the two progressive congresswomen were "from the Midwest."

ADVERTISEMENT

Weisman tweeted that calling the two Midwestern “is like saying @RepLloydDoggett (D-Austin) is from Texas or @repjohnlewis (D-Atlanta) is from the Deep South.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded later in the morning, tweeting that her colleagues “literally are” Midwestern, adding “this comment is what erasure looks like. HIGH TURNOUT from DEEP BLUE SEATS &being competitive everywhere is the core of a winning strategy.”

“It’s disturbing to see this Trump talking pt that dense, diverse communities 'aren’t the REAL [America/Midwest/etc],'” she added.

Ocasio-Cortez is a close political ally of the two freshman congresswomen who, along with herself and Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyAyanna Pressley's 'squad' of congresswomen offers support after she opens up about alopecia Ayanna Pressley opens up about having alopecia for first time, reveals bald head in interview Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair endorses Sanders MORE (D-Mass.) have been collectively dubbed “the squad.”

Omar also responded to the tweet, tweeting "this will certainly be news to people of Minnesota’s 5th District!"

Tlaib was born in Detroit, while Omar was born in Somalia but came to Minnesota as a child.

Shahid made his initial comments about Omar and Tlaib being "from the Midwest" after former Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade McCaskill: 'Mitch McConnell has presided over absolutely destroying Senate norms' Claire McCaskill: Young girls 'are now aspiring' to be like Warren, Klobuchar after debate MORE (D-Mo.) said during an MSNBC panel Tuesday night after the latest Democratic presidential debate that “free stuff from the government doesn’t play well in the Midwest.”

He later responded to Weisman’s comments, saying in a statement, “The people who shape our national conversation should be telling the story of how we are all Americans, not repeating Trump’s racism. They do us all a disservice when they echo Trump’s dog whistles that tell us some people are more ‘American’ or ‘Midwestern’ than others -- that our lives and our votes matter less than others.”

“We must change the idea that people of color can’t exemplify the region -- or the nation -- in which we live,” he added.

Weisman doubled-down on the sentiment in follow-up tweets, tweeting "[P]lease don’t tell me that Atlanta is synonymous with Georgia. It isn't." 

He eventually deleted the tweets, saying he had been trying "to make a point about regional differences in politics between urban and rural areas."

--Updated at 10:42 a.m.