- Nancy Pelosi criticized Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the left wing “Squad” for posing as “perfect” and “pure” progressives.
- USA Today’s Susan Page writes in her forthcoming book that the House Speaker told her some members “pose for holy pictures” while others legislate.
- Pelosi said she values “operational” Democrats over activist members who stir up trouble in their own party.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the left wing “Squad” for posing as “perfect” and “pure” progressives and rejecting compromise necessary to achieve legislative results.
USA Today’s Susan Page writes in her forthcoming book, “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” an excerpt of which was published in Politico, that Pelosi “adopted a child-like voice when discussing” Ocasio-Cortez.
“Some people come here, as [former Rep.] Dave Obey would have said, to pose for holy pictures,” Pelosi told Page during a July 2019 interview.
Page writes, “[Pelosi] changed her voice and mimicked a child trying to make a solemn show of piety. ‘See how perfect I am and how pure?'”
The Speaker insisted that Democratic lawmakers who are “operational” and willing to put their heads down and compromise on legislation are more effective than activist members.
“When you come in, cross that door, take that oath, you have to be oriented toward results,” Pelosi told Page. “Have confidence in what you believe in, have humility to listen to somebody else, because you’re not a one-person show. This is the Congress of the United States.”
Ocasio-Cortez has been openly critical of Pelosi and other Democratic leaders during her first few years in Congress. Last year, she said that the party needed “new leadership,” but conceded that progressives hadn’t prepared a new leader to take over.
“The internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there is very little option for succession,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept in December. “The Speaker has indicated that she may be looking at transitioning and leaving at some point, and the left isn’t really making a plan for that either. It’s something that we need to think about.”