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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez hits Yang over scrapped Eid event: 'Utterly shameful' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel The Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday criticized a New York Times editor’s tweet suggesting Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOcasio-Cortez hits Yang over scrapped Eid event: 'Utterly shameful' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel The Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarYang's tweet in support of Israel draws praise from conservatives There will be no new immigration law under Biden, unless he changes course Free Speech Inc.: The Democratic Party finds a new but shaky faith in corporate free speech 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."

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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 PressleyWarren says she'll run for reelection to Senate Bush testifies before Congress about racist treatment Black birthing people face during childbirth, pregnancy Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say 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 McCaskillDemings asked about Senate run after sparring with Jordan on police funding Republicans fret over divisive candidates Greitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP 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.