Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said the Democratic Party needs new leadership during an interview with The Intercept that aired Dec. 16.
While on the podcast, Ocasio-Cortez was asked whether it’s time for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer to be replaced.
“I mean, I think so,” Ocasio-Cortez answered before adding that the party does not have a succession plan for when Pelosi and Schumer decide to step aside and has not groomed the next generation of Democratic leadership.
Schumer, 70, was re-elected as the Democratic leader in the Senate in November and Speaker of the House Pelosi, 80, has hinted this will be her last term as speaker. House Democrats have already nominated Pelosi for the role next year.
In addition to Pelosi and Schumer, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip James Clyburn are also both over the age of 80.
Ocasio-Cortez also went after both sides of the Democratic Party. According to Politico, the Squad member said even conservatives Democrats are finding it hard to produce “viable alternatives” to Pelosi.
Ocasio-Cortez also needled progressive Democrats for the same, telling the podcast “the left isn’t really making a plan” for the party after Pelosi’s retirement. The Boston University graduate warned progressives that lawmakers more conservative than Pelosi and Schumer are willing to fill the void in leadership.
For those wondering why Ocasio-Cortez isn’t making a push for the job herself, she indicated on the podcast that she’s not ready for the job just yet.
“It’s easy for someone to say: ‘Oh, well, why don’t you run?’” Ocasio-Cortez stated. “But the House is extraordinarily complex. And I’m not ready. It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.”
Last week, The Hill reported that Ocasio-Cortez described President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda as unclear based on his cabinet selections.
“You have an individual appointment here, an individual appointment there,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We can wrestle about whether they are bold enough or ambitious enough, especially given the uncertainty and what kind of Senate we’re going to have.
“But aside from that, I think one of the things I’m looking for, when I see all of these picks put together is: What is the agenda? What is this overall vision going to be? And to me, I think that’s a little hazy.”