Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) led efforts heading into the Democratic House leadership elections earlier this week to oppose House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) bid for Speaker. Despite the opposition, Pelosi looks as though she will be elected to the role.
Rep. Moulton had issues with the way rising Democratic star Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) characterized the opposition to Pelosi.
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, described the opposition to Pelosi as “coming from her right” in a tweet announcing her support of Pelosi.
All the challenges to Leader Pelosi are coming from her right, in an apparent effort to make the party even more conservative and bent toward corporate interests.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 21, 2018
Hard pass. So long as Leader Pelosi remains the most progressive candidate for Speaker, she can count on my support. https://t.co/yNVa8IorWY
Moulton told Boston Public Radio Friday that Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet was “offensive,” to himself and others like Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Linda Sanchez (CA) who has also called for a change in leadership.
“It’s offensive because [Sanchez] is in the progressive caucus, she is not to the right of Nancy Pelosi, and it’s also offensive because she’s a woman,” he said.
“We need to make room for a new generation of leaders," he added. "This election was a call for change from the American people, and we have an extraordinary freshman class that includes a lot of young people, LGBT candidates and an extraordinary number of women and veterans."
Moulton insisted that the issue was not with Pelosi but with the lack of a focus on the future.
“This is not about her. It’s about being a party that is focused on the future,” he said. “I don’t think anybody looks at the top three leaders in the House right now and says ‘Oh yeah, that’s the future of the party.’”
Despite Ocasio-Cortez’s characterization of Pelosi’s opponents, she herself has called for new leadership in the Democratic part and had some friction with Pelosi after she unseated fourth-ranking House Democrat Joe Crowley in a stunning primary upset.
Pelosi dismissed the upset as “a choice in one district” telling a reporter at the time, “let’s not get yourself carried away as an expert on demographics and the rest of that.”
Ocasio-Cortez pushed back and argued that there should be new leadership in the party.
“There are a lot of really exciting races with extremely similar dynamics as mine,” she said. “It’s not just one district.”