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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday disagreed with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s claims that Democratic leaders haven’t been assembling a new cohort to take over the party.
“Why does AOC complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?” CBS News host Lesley Stahl asked Pelosi during a “60 Minutes” interview.
“I don’t know,” Pelosi replied. “You’ll have to ask her — because we are.”
“That was kind of sharp, kind of dismissing her,” Stahl responded.
“I’m not dismissing her. I respect her,” Pelosi said. “I think she’s very effective, as are many other members in our caucus that the press doesn’t pay attention to. But they are there, and they are building support for what comes next.”
These comments come after Ocasio-Cortez told the Intercept in December that Pelosi, 80, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70, need to be replaced as the heads of the party. Other high-ranking Democrats include House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, 81, and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, 80.
“We need new leadership,” the New York progressive said. “The internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there is very little option for succession.”
Ocasio-Cortez, along with several other Democrats who have been critical of Pelosi, voted last week for her to become House Speaker of the 117th Congress. Pelosi, who turns 81 years old in March, has previously indicated that this could be her last term in the top post. She has been speaker since 2019 when Democrats took back the House, and previously from 2007 to 2011.
A handful of Democrats did not back Pelosi’s leadership, including Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Jared Golden of Maine, and Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey.
Pelosi faced heat from her caucus after Democrats lost several House seats in the November elections, reducing their majority to tight margins. Moderate members, such as Lamb and Spanberger, feuded with progressives like Ocasio-Cortez over the party’s strategy. However, Democrats resurrected hope in the party last week by picking up two highly-sought after Senate seats in Georgia, granting them control of the upper chamber. Schumer has already signaled that he intends to be Senate majority leader.
In the CBS interview, Pelosi didn’t elaborate on any members who are being considered to eventually lead the party. Her office also didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Lesley Stahl: Why does AOC complain that you have not been grooming younger people for leadership?
Speaker Pelosi: I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her– because we are. https://t.co/rdhe47lbw3 pic.twitter.com/fl1v1d5zTS
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) January 11, 2021
A few lawmakers, such as Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York and Adam Schiff of California, have been rumored to possibly take the reins of the Democratic Party.
Ocasio-Cortez has shut down ideas of her having a leadership position, arguing that she’s “not ready.”
“It’s easy for someone to say: ‘Oh, well, why don’t you run?'” Ocasio-Cortez said in December. “But the House is extraordinarily complex. And I’m not ready. …read more
Source:: Business Insider