Ocasio-Cortez hesitates when asked if she'll support Pelosi for speaker
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., equivocated during a primary debate scheduled for broadcast Friday when asked if she would support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for another term in her leadership post.
"Well you know, that's always subject to continuing dynamics," Ocasio-Cortez said. "But, I support her. Yes. Maybe? Yes. If she wants it. She's also already indicated that she may or may not run again."
Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman lawmaker with star power who has displayed a willingness to buck her party's leadership, made her comments during a Democratic debate for her congressional seat that was recorded Thursday and scheduled to air Friday on Spectrum News NY1.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said Friday that the congresswoman does plan to seek another term as speaker.
"The Speaker looks forward to growing our Majority this November and electing more women, people of color and LGBTQ Members to the most diverse Congress in history," he said in a statement. "The Speaker is not on a shift, but on a mission. We appreciate the Congresswoman's support."
After Democrats won back the House in 2018, Pelosi agreed to return to the speakership for no more than four years as a concession to some in her caucus who were demanding generational change in the party's leadership. Ocasio-Cortez supported Pelosi then.
Earlier this week, Ocasio-Cortez again demonstrated her willingness to break with party leaders by endorsing a Democratic primary challenger to Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., a long-serving committee chairman who represents a district adjacent to hers.
In tweets, Ocasio-Cortez announced her support for middle-school principal Jamaal Bowman, whose message of generational change has echoed that of Ocasio-Cortez ahead of her 2018 upset of a long-serving Democratic incumbent.
At her weekly news conference Thursday afternoon, Pelosi said she supports Ocasio-Cortez and Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in their reelection bids and wishes them both well.
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