House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., went after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., late Thursday — and the fracture has caused major internal tension among Democratic Party insiders just months before the critical 2020 presidential election.
Ocasio-Cortez announced this week she was endorsing the primary challenger of top Democratic Party leader Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.
Engel was overheard on a “hot mic” telling protest organizers that he only cared about addressing Black Lives Matter protesters to boost him in an upcoming primary vote.
Ocasio-Cortez pounced and within hours had endorsed his primary challenger.
This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box.
On June 23rd, New York will be holding primary elections.
Tomorrow I will be rolling out a slate of New York endorsements.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 4, 2020
“Bowman, a public school principal who has been gaining momentum in the race, has leveled many of the same criticisms against Engel that Ocasio-Cortez did in her own upset win against Joe Crowley in 2018: that he’s a Washington insider who’s out of touch with his district,” Politico reported.
If Bowman did manage to unseat Engel, it would be another major blow from Ocasio-Cortez to establishment Democrats.
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Pelosi rushed to Engel’s defense, declaring her unwavering support for him — and shot a passive-aggressive mark at AOC in the process.
“I firmly support Eliot Engel for Congress and I support Alexandria for Congress as well,” Pelosi said. “I think the people of New York are very blessed to have them both in the Congress.”
During a rally earlier this week, Engel asked a local leader if he could address the crowd.
When the local leader declined because there were too many people that wanted to speak, Engel said, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”
“What was that?” the leader responded, according to the audio captured on a local live feed.
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“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” Engel repeated.
“Don’t do that to me,” the leader scolded.
The Horn editorial team