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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLouisiana governor wins re-election White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations Ocasio-Cortez voices support for Taylor Swift in artist's battle to perform her songs MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday criticized a New York Times editor’s tweet suggesting Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ethics panel extends probe into Tlaib, says she likely misused campaign funds Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOcasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Krystal Ball: Billionaires panicking over Sanders candidacy Omar renews claim Stephen Miller is a 'white nationalist' amid calls for him to step down 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 PressleyAyanna Pressley introduces extensive criminal justice reform resolution Ocasio-Cortez jabs 'plutocratic' late entrants to 2020 field Justice Democrats official denies that progressives struggle with electability 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 McCaskillMSNBC's McCaskill: Trump used 'his fat thumbs' to try to intimidate Yovanovitch GOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' Iranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts 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.