Tensions between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may flare up once again if Democrats retain control of the House in 2020.
During an interview with CNN host Jake Tapper Sunday morning, the freshman congresswoman from New York made clear that she intends to support the “most progressive” option for House speaker, examining other Democratic candidates for the role other than Pelosi.
“If Speaker Pelosi runs again, as she just indicated she will if the Democrats keep the House, will you support her?” Tapper asked.
“Again, I want to make sure that we win the House. I do believe that we will, but it’s critically important that we support Democrats in tight swing races, making sure that not only all of them come back but that we grow our majority,” she said. “I believe that we have to see those races as they come, see what candidates are there. I am committed to making sure that we have the most progressive candidate there. But, if Speaker Pelosi is that most progressive candidate, then I will be supporting her.”
In 2019, Ocasio-Cortez clashed with Pelosi after she and other liberal members in Congress thought the House speaker was “keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members,” going as far as to say Pelosi was explicitly targeting “newly elected women of color.” Many House Democrats, and even President Trump, defended Pelosi against allegations of racism.
“I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot, and we go back and forth and it’s fine, but I think that a group of people is being very disrespectful to her. I’ll tell you something about Nancy Pelosi, she is not a racist, and for them to call her a racist is a disgrace,” Trump said at the time.
Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez then met behind closed-doors to reconcile their differences. “We don’t have that many differences,” Pelosi said after the fact.