- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders sided Sunday with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying the Democratic leadership was being “a little bit” too tough on young progressive House members resisting the party establishment.

Asked if Ms. Pelosi was being “too tough on them,” Mr. Sanders replied, “I think a little bit.”

“You cannot ignore the young people of this country who are passionate about economic and racial and social and environmental justice,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “You’ve got to bring them in, not alienate them.”

His comments came after the ongoing feud between House leaders and “the squad,” the coterie of young, left-wing congresswomen of color, erupted in public last week when Ms. Pelosi shrugged off their influence, telling the New York Times that “they’re four people.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a volunteer for the Sanders campaign in 2016, swung back by playing the race card, questioning the leadership’s “explicit singling out of newly elected women of color” in an interview with the Washington Post.

A leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Mr. Sanders emphasized that “the future of our country and the future of the Democratic Party rests with young people.”

“And what Alexandria and other young women and women of color are saying is, ‘We’ve got to reach out to young people. We’ve got to heal the pain of the working class of this country,’ and that is causing some political disruption within the leadership of the Democratic Party,” Mr. Sanders said.

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