The Slatest

Ocasio-Cortez Slams Pelosi After She Dismisses Influence of Young Progressive Lawmakers

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is interviewed for TV June 27, 2019 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is interviewed for TV June 27, 2019 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she criticized the freshman lawmaker for failing to vote with Democrats on a spending package that would send more funds to the border. In an interview with the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, Pelosi didn’t hide her anger at Ocasio-Cortez and other young progressive lawmakers who voted against the measure that was the strongest she felt they could get from the president. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” she said. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.” In addition to Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi was also referring to Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

It didn’t take long for Ocasio-Cortez to use the exact medium that Pelosi mocked to hit back at the Democratic leader. “That public ‘whatever’ is called public sentiment. And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country,” she wrote.

Ocasio-Cortez then proceeded to criticize the elders of her party for failing to see just how important social media can be to politics. “I find it strange when members act as though social media isn’t important. They set millions of dollars on fire to run TV ads so people can see their message,” she wrote, using emojis to represent dollars and fire. “I haven’t dialed for dollars *once* this year, & have more time to do my actual job. Yet we’d rather campaign like it’s 2008.”

The freshman lawmaker wasn’t done. And a few minutes later, Ocasio-Cortez all but called Democratic leaders naïve for believing that Trump would keep to his word. “I don’t believe it was a good idea for Dems to blindly trust the Trump admin when so many kids have died in their custody,” she wrote before adding: “It’s a huge mistake.”

This is hardly the first time there has been a bit of intra-party tension between the leadership and the freshman lawmakers. In an interview with 60 Minutes in April, Pelosi dismissed the importance of Ocasio-Cortez and her allies, saying, “That’s like five people.”