- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez significantly upped the rhetorical ante in her feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, playing the race card.

In an interview with The Washington Post posted late Wednesday, the New York Democrat and socialist star accused Mrs. Pelosi of being “outright disrespectful” in her remarks toward minority lawmakers.

“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,” she told The Post.

However, she said Mrs. Pelosi has specifically referred to her and three other first-term progressive women of color — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — in a dismissive manner.

“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,” she said.

Those four — known as “the Squad” — cast the only Democratic votes against a bipartisan bill to provide humanitarian assistance to illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers at the border.

Since then, Mrs. Pelosi has downplayed their influence.

“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” she said to The New York Times. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”

The remarks also came just hours after a closed-door meeting of the Democratic caucus at which Mrs. Pelosi reportedly admonished lawmakers for publicly attacking one another and threatening primary challenges.

Things weren’t always thus.

Mrs. Pelosi, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar once posed laughingly and collegially in each others’ arms for the cover of Rolling Stone.

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