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As the feud among wings of the Democratic Party continues to grow, Bernie Sanders has backed young people to “recognize” their progressive “power.”
The Vermont senator issued a call to the younger, more progressive parts of the party on Thursday, tweeting: “My message to young people: recognize your power as the most progressive generation in history.”
The comment came after Sanders took a victory lap of sorts on Wednesday, saying he had “a deep sense of satisfaction” that the Democrats have embraced positions he previously held during the 2016 election.
“Many of the ideas that I brought forth, $15-an-hour minimum wage- ‘Hey Bernie, you’re crazy, that’s too extreme,’” Sanders said on MSNBC.
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He also recalled a debate in 2016 when he said climate change was the biggest “national security crisis” and how “people kind of laughed,” but they’re “not laughing today.”
Sanders’ backing of youthful progressives came as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most progressive Democrats in the House, has been feuding with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Pelosi stood her ground Thursday in response to AOC claiming the speaker had been disrespectful to several minority lawmakers, saying she has the backing of her caucus and defending her handling of the rabble-rousing freshman ‘squad’ that Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has led.
Notably, Pelosi all but confirmed that a warning she delivered to rank-and-file lawmakers a day earlier about using social media for attacks on fellow Democrats was prompted by Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff.
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Asked about her ongoing spat with the New York lawmaker, Pelosi acknowledged how she recently addressed — “at the request of my members” — an “offensive tweet that came out of one of the member’s offices” that compared centrist Democrats to segregationists. That tweet was authored and then deleted by Ocasio-Cortez’s, chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti.
“Our members took offense at that,” Pelosi said, claiming her comments received a positive response. “I addressed that.”
Ocasio-Cortez has since accused Pelosi of being “disrespectful” to several “newly elected women of color.” Pelosi repeatedly told reporters Thursday she wasn’t going to say anything else on the subject but added that she supported diversity in the caucus.
“I’ve said what I’m going to say… What I said in the caucus yesterday had an overwhelming response from my members,because they know what the facts are and what we are responding to. We respect the value of every member of our caucus. The diversity of it all is a wonderful thing. Diversity is our strength. Unity is our power,” she said.
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On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez stood by her Pelosi comments in an interview with CNN, saying she was “pointing out a pattern.” But, she declined to call Pelosi a racist.
Ocasio-Cortez also recently voiced support for Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sanders — perceived progressive leaders whom polling showed as having the best shot at stealing former Vice President Joe Biden’s frontrunner status in the presidential race.
“Well, I’m definitely pro-Sanders in that I want him to do well,” she said. “I want him to succeed. But, there are other candidates as well, you know, I think Elizabeth Warren is doing a great job, too.”
She also made headlines by suggesting Biden might be too old to be president.
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Ocasio-Cortez told The New Yorker that Biden’s performance during the first primary debate raised questions about his cognitive abilities.
“It’s not just about being centrist, per se. It’s, when you are struggling to talk about segregationists and you err on the side of discussing them in glowing terms, that is a big problem,” she said.
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.
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