Clyburn responds to Ocasio-Cortez remarks: 'I don't get hung up on labels'

Rep. Jim ClyburnJames (Jim) Enos ClyburnClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts In the final chapter of 2020, we must recommit to repairing our democracy Democrats accuse Mnuchin of sabotaging economy in dispute with Fed MORE (D-S.C.) on Sunday responded to an interview in which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far MORE (D-N.Y.) alleged there is hostility to progressive ideas from Democratic members of Congress.

“Sometimes I have real problems trying to figure out what progressive means,” the House majority whip said during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."

“I tell people all the time, my father was very conservative. He was a minister. I never heard him ask his congregation to give conservatively. He always asked for a liberal offering. And so I believe that it’s good to be conservative at times and in many ways, but it’s also good to be liberal at times, in many ways. And so you have to balance all of this out.”

In her New York Times interview, Ocasio-Cortez expressed doubts about remaining in politics due what she saw as a lack of support from the Democratic Party.

“It’s your own party thinking you’re the enemy. When your own colleagues talk anonymously in the press and then turn around and say you’re bad because you actually append your name to your opinion,” she told the newspaper.

Clyburn said on Sunday that  being involved in the democratic process matters more than ascribing to any one political identity.

“You know, anytime you challenge the status quo, you are looked upon as being liberal. No, you just want to be a part of what's going on in this great country, a country that you’ve helped to make great. And that’s all this is,” said Clyburn.

“So I don't, I don’t get hung up on labels, so I don’t know what I am. I'm an American, a very proud American. And I’m a Democrat, a very proud Democrat. So I just want us to be Democrats in a big tent, and these labels, I reject.”