"You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats in a closed-door meeting Wednesday, chiding members who've been airing frustrations over Twitter. "Do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK," Pelosi said in an attempt to reunite the party follow weeks of infighting, a source tells Politico. Some of the internal friction was generated by Pelosi herself, the result of an interview with Maureen Dowd that ran Sunday in the New York Times. The course of events:
- "All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world," Pelosi told Dowd. "But they didn't have any following. They're four people and that’s how many votes they got."
- The four she was referring to: Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, all critical of Pelosi for siding with moderates in sending a Senate-passed $4.6 billion border bill to the House floor without stronger protections for child migrants. The four voted against the measure.
- Pelosi's lines drew tweeted responses. What Ocasio-Cortez had to say: "That public 'whatever' is called public sentiment. And wielding the power to shift it is how we actually achieve meaningful change in this country."
- Omar then tweeted a response to Ocasio-Cortez's tweet: "Patetico! You know they’re just salty about WHO is wielding the power to shift 'public sentiment' these days, sis. Sorry not sorry."
- Fast-forward to Wednesday and that closed-door meeting, in which Pelosi reportedly said members "must never undermine the strength of anyone in our caucus," per BuzzFeed. She stressed that some Democrats, including moderates who unseated Republicans in 2018, are fighting to keep their seats in 2020. "It makes a difference for what we can do for the American people if we have the majority," she added.
- The Wall Street Journal reports many Democrats embraced Pelosi's message, which was "not aimed at any particular Member or group," according to the speaker's deputy chief of staff. However, Omar told reporters, "Our job isn't to make sure that we have our colleagues voting a certain way." Added Ocasio-Cortez, per BuzzFeed: "I think that it erodes one's integrity … to only point out wrongs when Republicans do them and to not point out wrongs when Democrats do them too."
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