Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the Democratic caucus opposing Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s bid for House Speaker by pointing out the demographic makeup of its members.
The incoming New York lawmaker’s comments came during a Monday evening conversation with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
“Well, for me when I was reading this letter that was kind of released today, my main concern was that there is no vision, there is no common value, there is no goal that is really articulated in this letter aside from we need to change,” Ocasio-Cortez told Hayes when asked about Monday’s letter — signed by 16 Democrats — who oppose Pelosi’s leadership.
After criticizing the concept of “changing our party leadership just for the sake of it,” Ocasio-Cortez lamented the immutable characteristics shared by many in the group and the idea that the leadership could end up “more conservative.”
“I mean, if anything, I think that what it does is that it creates a window where we could potentially get more conservative leadership,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “And when you actually look at the signatories, it is not necessarily reflective of the diversity of the party. We have about 16 signatories, 14 of them are male. There are very few people of color in the caucus. There’s very few ideological diversity. It’s not like there are Progressives that are signing on. It’s not like you have a broad-based coalition. So I find it — you know, I’m not totally bought into the concept.”
Ocasio-Cortez later responded to a question from Hayes about Justice Democrats – a group the incoming congresswoman supports that actively works to “primary” more conservative Democratic incumbents – and how that affects “the relationships” she has with incumbents. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Effort To Primary Members Of Her Own Party In 2020)
“I think what’s important to articulate what justice Democrats is about is really, it’s not — their mission isn’t ‘we’re gonna primary Democrats,'” she said. “Their mission is ‘we’re going to support working class candidates to run in midterm elections.’ And so they have supported and endorsed candidates in red to blues, in open primaries, but they do not shy away from actual primaries in blue races either. So, you know, I’m not sure if it really changes much because incumbent Democrats support and endorse against other incumbents all the time.”