House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is receiving support from some of her caucus members after freshman firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused her of being racist for demeaning comments made by herself and other representatives who are also people of color.
“I think the speaker is doing a hell of job under some very trying and tough circumstances,” Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) said, according to The New York Post.
“I first met her in 2011. You can say a lot of things about Nancy Pelosi, one thing you cannot say about Nancy Pelosi is that she – I’ve never seen her do anything that had racial overtones.”
Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) also weighed in with his support for the party leader, saying that it was ludicrous that Pelosi would single out congressional members because of their race, and said that Pelosi had been supportive of Ocasio-Cortez and her “squad.”
“I don’t feel she’s targeting. To me, with the freshman women, in general, it seems like she’s been supportive,” Kelly said. “It’s tough. She’s in a no-win situation in a number of ways. … I think she wants us all to be successful.”
Pelosi, who has been blasted by the rogue New York congresswoman both in interviews and to her millions of social media followers, attempted to defuse the situation on Thursday:
“I’ve said what I’m going to say,” Pelosi said, according to the Post.
“We respect the value of every member of our caucus,” Pelosi added. “Diversity is our strength. Unity is our power.”
The House Speaker did, however, stand by her criticism of the freshman Democrat criticizing other House Democrats on Twitter.
For her part, Ocasio-Cortez ratcheted up the contention on Wednesday when she said that Pelosi was “outright disrespectful” for her criticism of women of color in her attempts to put a damper on some of the far left pushes by Ocasio-Cortez and others.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez said, according to the Post.
“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.”