Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday tried to defuse her public spat with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling the craze her race remarks sparked “unfortunate.”
Asked if she regrets saying that Pelosi was targeting freshman female reps of color, the Bronx Democrat said she wished the feud hadn’t bubbled over into a hubbub that distracted from immigration issues.
But she didn’t back down from taking on the speaker.
“No. What I do think is unfortunate is this whole thing started with us talking about the border and we’re not talking about the border anymore,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Post. “I’m looking forward to us getting back to that conversation.”
Earlier this week, Ocasio-Cortez called the House speaker “outright disrespectful” for criticizing women legislators of color.
“When these comments first started, I kind of thought that she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm’s distance in order to protect more moderate members, which I understood,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Washington Post.
“But the persistent singling out — it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful — the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”
Pelosi had been trying to rein in some of the left-wing members of the Democratic caucus after tensions boiled over on Twitter over a border funding bill. Pelosi insisted she had the support of her caucus behind her when she told Democrats in a closed-door meeting that they shouldn’t air their personal grievances against other members on Twitter.
“They took offense because I addressed, at the request of my members, an offensive tweet that came out of one of the member’s offices that referenced our Blue Dogs and new Southern Democrats essentially as segregationists,” Pelosi said in response.
Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, had attacked Pelosi over the weekend, tweeting scathing criticism of the moderate Blue Dogs, calling them the “New Southern Democrats.”
He was criticizing moderates over their support of a Senate border funding bill that didn’t include demands progressives wanted that they say would have put checks on the Trump administration and improved accommodations for migrants at the border.
Once the policy spat got personal more grievances between the progressive wing of the party and moderates were aired publicly.
Rep. William Lacy Clay slammed Ocasio-Cortez Thursday for playing the “race card” in her spat with Pelosi.
“How dare they try to play the race card at this point,” said the Missouri Democrat, who faces a progressive primary challenge.
“It shows the weakness of their argument. It’s damaging to this party and the internal workings of the Democratic Party.”