Nancy Pelosi rejects criticism from AOC during ‘60 Minutes’ interview

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rejecting criticism from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that she is not receptive to younger members and does not groom them for future leadership roles.

Speaking to “60 Minutes” in a wide-ranging interview Sunday, Pelosi (D-Calif.) made the remarks after being asked about herself and other members of House Democratic leadership being in their 80s.

“We have [brought young people into the leadership]. You perhaps don’t know,” the top ranking House Democrat told the program.

After being asked by co-anchor Lesley Stahl why Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had criticized her on the issue of grooming potential successors, Pelosi offered a curt, “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her, because we are.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (L) swears in Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (L) swears in Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.Getty Images

Stahl then criticized Pelosi’s short response, calling it “kind of sharp,” and saying she appeared to be “dismissing her,” something the 80-year-old lawmaker also rejected.

“I’m not dismissing her. I respect her. I think she’s very effective as are other, many other members in our caucus that the press doesn’t pay attention to,” she said, “But they are there and they are building support for what comes next.”

In a podcast published in mid-December by The Intercept, the 31-year-old lawmaker said that Democrats needed to plan for the future of the party, something that required new faces at the top.

“I do think we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” AOC said, “I think one of the things that I have struggled with is the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there [are] very little options for succession.” 

“If you create that vacuum, there are so many nefarious forces at play to fill that vacuum with something even worse. And so, the actual sad state of affairs is that there are folks more conservative … they are willing to kind of fill that void.”

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