House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly bashes members of “the Squad” in a new biography by USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page.
Pelosi spoke ten separate times with Page for the book, scheduled for release April 20. During the interviews, Pelosi took shots at several prominent members of her own party including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. She mocks Ocasio-Cortez specifically for her youth and apparent ignorance, according to Axios:
Pelosi unloads on the Squad, at one point adopting a child-like voice when discussing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and offers the Squad this blunt advice: “You’re not a one-person show. This is the Congress of the United States.”
During another part in her series of interviews with Page, Pelosi blames former President Barack Obama over problems whipping votes in favor of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, from lawmakers representing Obama’s home state of Illinois.
“Why are we having a problem with Illinois?” Pelosi asked. She also said that Obama does not deserve sole credit for getting legislation through Congress under his administration.
Pelosi and members of the Squad have shared a tense relationship at times, especially after the Squad’s members first joined Congress following the 2018 election. Ocasio-Cortez began clashing with the speaker before even being formally seated as a representative from New York. Ocasio-Cortez’s first appearance in Washington, D.C., was at an anti-Pelosi protest. As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
Ocasio-Cortez joined a group of young activists called the “Sunrise Movement” in staging a sit-in protest outside the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the House Minority Leader and, come January, the likely Speaker of the House — and Ocasio-Cortez’s new boss.
Ocasio-Cortez addressed the protesters, who were holding signs asking for a “Green New Deal” from Democrats in charge, and demanding “Green Jobs for All,” shook hands, and gave high-fives to the 50 or so protesters who blocked the entrance to Pelosi’s office.
The event marked Ocasio-Cortez’s first visit to the soon-to-be Speaker’s office, and leftists were pretty miffed that she introduced herself to her Democratic colleagues not by embracing inter-party collegiality, but by openly disagreeing with her party’s long-time leadership.
Pelosi has taken time to wrangle AOC and her rogue colleagues, and all members of the Squad voted to re-elect Pelosi as speaker of the House in January. Ocasio-Cortez decided to back Pelosi despite calling on progressives to formulate a plan to oust the aging speaker and her Senate counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), several weeks prior to the vote for Pelosi.
“I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a December interview with The Intercept. She complained about the lack of leadership “grooming” going on among House Democrats.
“Whenever there is a challenge, it kind of collapses, and that, I think, is the result of just many years of power being concentrated in leadership with lack of real grooming of next generation of leader,” Ocasio-Cortez said.