House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Monday that while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is a “wonderful member of Congress,” a “glass of water” could win in her solidly Democrat district.
“When we won this election, it wasn’t in districts like mine or Alexandria’s,” Pelosi said at the London School of Economics, where she appeared during a visit to the U.K. “And she’s a wonderful member of Congress, I think all of our colleagues will attest.”
“But those are districts that are solidly Democratic,” Pelosi said, picking up a glass of water. “This glass of water would win with a D next to its name in those districts.”
“And not to diminish the exuberance and the personality, and the rest of Alexandria and the other members…but the 43 districts-we won 43, net gain of 40-were right down the middle,” Pelosi said. “Mainstream, hold-the-center victories.”
Newsweek‘s report on Pelosi’s remarks speculated that she could have been signaling her resistance to members of her Party who are lurching to the far left.
Ocasio-Cortez beat longtime Democrat Congressman Joe Crowley running as a Democratic Socialist. She introduced the radical Green New Deal resolution and has joined a newcomers-to-Congress club with two other Democrats elected in the 2018 midterms who also champion controversial positions on everything from U.S./Israel relations to impeaching President Donald Trump; Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
“Now, I’m a liberal from San Francisco,” Pelosi said. “I can compare my liberal credentials across the board.”
“And I said to them, anything that you’re about, I got that down in my basement 25 years ago,” Pelosi said. “Single payer, all of this. Been there, done that, pushing a stroller many decades ago with all of that, so I share those values.”
“What we’re saying is to have a message that appeals to people that does not menace them, that really does address their concerns,” Pelosi said. “When we win, and we have the White House, and we have that, then we can expand our exuberances to some other things.”
“But our message, our progressive message, is down the middle,” Pelosi said.
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“This is about winning,” Pelosi said. “This is about winning because so much is at stake.”