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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez endorses challenger to Democrat Lipinski in Illinois race The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? The Memo: Times correction gives GOP lifeline in latest Kavanaugh controversy MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday criticized a New York Times editor’s tweet suggesting Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected Bill Maher, Michael Moore spar over Democrats' strategy for 2020 Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight MORE (D-Mich.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTrump seeks to expand electoral map with New Mexico rally Omar says she hopes Netanyahu not reelected Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate 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 PressleyTrump praises Kavanaugh as a 'great, brilliant man,' blasts NYT over 'smear' report at rally Pressley to introduce resolution to open impeachment inquiry against Kavanaugh Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley dance to Lizzo's 'Truth Hurts' in video 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 McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand 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.