2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said on Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being a “little bit” too hard on progressive House Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“What Alexandria and other young women and women of color are saying, ‘We have got to reach out to young people. We have got to heal the pain of the working class of this country,'” Sanders told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. “And that is causing some political disruption within the leadership of the Democratic Party.”
Sanders was referring to Ocasio-Cortez and Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), four progressive congresswomen who’ve tangled with Pelosi recently.
The Vermont senator says he supports their desire to “bring more people, especially young people, working class people, into the Democratic Party.”
“That is the future of the Democratic Party,” he continued.
“Do you think the Speaker’s being too tough on them?” asked Todd.
“I think a little bit,” Sanders responded. “I think you cannot ignore the young people of this country who are passionate about economic and racial and social and environmental justice. You’ve got to bring them in, not alienate them.”
Pelosi was criticized for her dismissive comments about Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and Tlaib after the four of them refused to back an emergency funding bill for immigration agencies. She has since reprimanded the congresswomen for publicly airing their complaints about fellow Democrats on Twitter.
Ocasio-Cortez volunteered in Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, and the two lawmakers are currently working together on a bill to cap credit card and payday loan interest rates at 15%
Watch Sanders speak below:
Bernie Sanders when asked if Pelosi's being too tough on AOC, other progressive Dems: "I think a little bit" pic.twitter.com/fhxqStpLr4
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 14, 2019