- The Washington Times - Friday, July 12, 2019

Rep. William Lacy Clay railed on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently for “using the race card” after the freshman congresswoman accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of being racially insensitive toward her and other progressive, ethnically diverse lawmakers.

“What a weak argument. Because you can’t get your way and because you’re getting pushback, you resort to using the race card? Unbelievable. That’s unbelievable to me. I could care less. I could really care less. I agree with the Speaker. Four people, four votes out of 240 people, who cares,” the Missouri Democrat said on Wednesday, according to The Hill.

Mrs. Pelosi criticized Ms. Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts for being the only four Democrats who opposed a House bill that would provide protections to migrant children in detention centers.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez upped the ante Wednesday evening, telling The Washington Post that Mrs. Pelosi was “outright disrespectful” singling out “of newly elected women of color.” 

Mr. Clay, who is considered a centrist Democrat, also attacked progressive group Justice Democrats, who endorsed his 2018 primary challenger, Cori Bush, to unseat him.

“They’re missing the fact that we have a very thin margin of a majority that we’re operating under and apparently it doesn’t matter to Justice Democrats, they just want to get skins. They want to score points for whatever reason,” Mr. Clay said.

“But I find it juvenile, their tactics, I find their ignorance to be beyond belief about American history and about who are really segregationists. And so how dare they try to play the race card at this point, it shows you the weakness of their arguments,” he said.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez scaled back her comments, telling CNN she “absolutely” doesn’t think Mrs. Pelosi is racist.

Gabriella Muñoz contributed to this article.

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