Pelosi: AOC’s Progressive Faction Is ‘Like Five People’

Mairead McArdle

House speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the progressive faction of her caucus led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “like five people.”

In a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday, Pelosi was asked whether she could unify the “self-described socialists” and the “moderates” among House Democrats.

“By and large, whatever orientation they came to Congress with, they know that we have to hold the center. That we have to go down the mainstream,” she responded.

“But it doesn’t look like that. It looks as if it’s fractured. You have these wings– AOC, and her group on one side,” interviewer Lesley Stahl continued.

“That’s like five people,” Pelosi replied.

“The progressive group is more than five,” Stahl said.

“I’m a progressive,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi, 79, and Ocasio-Cortez, 29, have not clashed openly but have occasionally thrown shade at each other since the latter’s ascension to Congress earlier this year. In February, the speaker dismissed Ocasio-Cortez’s signature proposal, the Green New Deal, as the “green dream, or whatever they call it.” She also referenced the freshman congresswoman’s huge social-media following earlier this month during a discussion about the importance of being unified and working with the other side of the aisle.

“While there are people who have a large number of Twitter followers, what’s important is that we have large numbers of votes on the floor of the House,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi has, however, also allied with Ocasio-Cortez at times. Last month, the most powerful woman in Congress tweeted out the cover of Rolling Stone showing a photo of herself, Ocasio-Cortez, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Representative Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, saying the magazine cover is “worth millions of dreams to women and girls across America.”

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