Politics

11 Highlights From Democrats’ Insult Fest Between Team Pelosi And Team Ocasio-Cortez

(Left: REUTERS/Jeenah Moon Right: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Peter Hasson Senior Reporter
  • New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are in a full-blown feud. 
  • The bad blood has Democrats — both inside and outside of Congress — choosing sides. 
  • Both sides in the Democratic civil war are accusing the other of targeting black Democrats.

A feud between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has escalated into an ugly insult fest between the two women and their respective Democratic allies.

Here are 11 highlights from the intra-party clash.

  1. Pelosi Trashes Ocasio-Cortez And Her Squad
    Pelosi ignited this clash by taking a shot at Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshman Democrats in an interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd published on July 6. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world, but they didn’t have any following,” Pelosi said. “They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
  2.  Ocasio-Cortez Plays The Race Card
    Ocasio-Cortez didn’t hesitate to frame her feud with Pelosi in racial terms. She accused the senior Democrat of being “disrespectful” toward “newly elected women of color” in Congress. “When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood. But the persistent singling out … it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color,” Ocasio-Cortez said Wednesday to The Washington Post.
  3. Democratic Rep. William Lacy Clay Calls Out Ocasio-Cortez For Playing ‘The Race Card’
    Democratic Missouri Rep. William Lacy Clay slammed Ocasio-Cortez for playing the race card against other Democrats. “What a weak argument, because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me,” Clay said Wednesday. “Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me. I could care less. I could really care less. I agree with the Speaker. Four people, four votes out of 240 people, who cares.”
  4.  Ocasio-Cortez Says It’s ‘Stupidly Untrue’ That She Played The Race Card
    Ocasio-Cortez said she never played the race card against Pelosi and other establishment Democrats, calling the accusation “stupidly untrue” Friday. “That’s stupidly untrue,” Ocasio-Cortez said to Fox News about Clay’s comment.
  5. Gregory Meeks: Ocasio-Cortez’s Allies Are Targeting Black Democrats
    Democratic New York Rep. Gregory Meeks, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), turned the tables on Justice Democrats, a progressive political group closely aligned with Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff. Justice Democrats plans to back primary challengers to establishment Democrats in 2020. “It just seems strange that the social Democrats seem to be targeting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, individuals who have stood and fought to make sure that African Americans are included and part of this process,” Meeks told The Hill. Meeks added that he refuses to call the group “Justice Democrats,” labeling them “social Democrats” instead.
  6.  Ocasio-Cortez Ally Ayanna Pressley Bashes ‘Black Faces That Don’t Want To Be A Black Voice’
    Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a freshman Democrat allied with Ocasio-Cortez, took a thinly veiled shot at some of her fellow CBC members Saturday. “We don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice,” Pressley said at progressive conference Netroots Nation. “We don’t need Muslims that don’t want to be a Muslim voice. We don’t need queers that don’t want to be a queer voice. If you’re worried about being marginalized and stereotyped, please don’t even show up because we need you to represent that voice.”
  7. Democratic Aide Compares Ocasio-Cortez To Super Mario Bros. Character Goomba
    One senior Democratic staffer compared Ocasio-Cortez to a character from the Super Mario Bros. video game and accused her of milking her ethnicity for convenience. “She’s only a woman of color when it’s convenient. None of the things she’s fought for aligned with communities of color and her group is funded only by elitist white liberals; she’s a puppet,” the Democratic staffer told The Hill.

    Screenshot/Twitter

    Screenshot/Twitter

  8. Justice Democrats: ‘Trust Fund Kids’
    The New York Daily News quoted a “Democratic leadership source” taking a personal shot at Justice Democrats members Friday. “Justice Democrats in general are trust fund kids who are funding this with their parents’ money,” the Democratic source said. “It’s offensive for CBC members when these elites are looking down on them when they don’t have the financial ability to say, ‘I don’t want that money.'” (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez’s Wealthy Chief Of Staff Avoids Disclosing His Finances)
  9. Official House Dems Org Goes After Ocasio-Cortez’s Chief Of Staff For ‘Explicitly Singling Out A Native American Woman Of Color’
    The House Democratic Caucus’s official Twitter account launched a personal attack Friday night on Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. The caucus account was responding to a June tweet in which Chakrabarti claimed that less-radical Blue Dog Democrats, including Democratic Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids, are enabling a “racist system” with their votes. “Who is this guy and why is he explicitly singling out a Native American woman of color? Her name is Congresswoman Davids, not Sharice. She is a phenomenal new member who flipped a red seat blue,” read the House Democrats tweet, with a screenshot of Chakrabarti’s tweet attached. Chakrabarti was instructed to “Keep Her Name Out Of Your Mouth.”

    Screenshot/Twitter

    Screenshot/Twitter

  10. ‘No One Is Afraid Of Those Nerds’
    A Fox News reporter also quoted a “senior Democratic source” going on the offensive against Ocasio-Cortez and her allies. “No one is afraid of those nerds. They don’t have the ability to primary anyone,” the source was quoted saying. “Her peers do not take her seriously,” the source added Friday. “They think it is absurd to call the speaker racist. Offensive and absurd.”
  11. Rahm Emanuel Calls Out A ‘Snot-Nosed Punk’
    Rahm Emanuel, previously chief of staff to former President Barack Obama and former mayor of Chicago, jumped into the fray as well. Dowd, the NYT columnist, quoted Emanuel calling Chakrabarti “a snot-nosed punk” in her latest column Saturday. Emanuel said Chakrabarti “should only be so lucky to learn from somebody like Nancy who has shown incredible courage and who has twice returned the Democratic Party to power.”

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