Ocasio-Cortez Defends Criticizing Nancy Pelosi: ‘We Won’t Let Everyday People Be Dismissed’

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a gathering of the National Action Network April 5, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Don Emmert / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

A conservative commentator chided Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Monday for insulting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) instead of learning from the veteran politician, but the freshman congresswoman is pushing back, vowing on social media not to let “everyday people be dismissed” by those in power.

“‘A glass of water could’ve [beat a 20-yr incumbt]’ ‘The Green Dream or whatever’ ‘Their public whatever’ Those aren’t quotes from me; they’re from the Speaker,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday. “Having respect for ourselves doesn’t mean we lack respect for her.”

“It means we won’t let everyday people be dismissed,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Ocasio-Cortez was responding to a tweet highlighting Washington Examiner Deputy Editor Jay Caruso’s commentary, in which he advised against Ocasio-Cortez’s “casual dismissal” of Pelosi’s accomplishments.

Caruso wrote: 

Ocasio-Cortez is part and parcel of a newfound stock of elected officials over the last eight to 10 years who think “fighting” is the same as getting something done. It’s not hard to forget Texas Senator Ted Cruz standing on the Senate floor in 2013 and arguing, “We can defund Obamacare if we stand on principle!” In the real world, it required enough votes and a president willing to sign the legislation. Cruz had neither.

Ocasio-Cortez is much in the same predicament. She can talk all she wants about how the detention centers are akin to “concentration camps” and send tweets with #AbolishICE hashtags, but at the end of the day, what does any of that accomplish? Is she so naive to think anyone outside her orbit would seriously entertain the idea of abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement?

So, while Ocasio-Cortez continues to tweet and her soundbites continue to make cable news, Speaker Pelosi is going about her way and doing real work. Instead of casual dismissal, Ocasio-Cortez could instead attempt to learn a thing or two from someone serving their second stint as Speaker of the House.

The tension between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez is part of an ongoing back and forth between the House leader and a group of new leftist House members, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).

All four voted against a $4.6 billion Senate-passed version of a humanitarian border funding bill, which Pelosi brought to the floor for a vote without changes.

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