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Dem Congressional Candidate Rips ‘Disconnected’ Pelosi

Michigan's Rashida Tlaib goes on to condemn the existence of ICE: 'We had border security before ICE'

• August 13, 2018 2:44 pm

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House Democratic candidate Rashida Tlaib called for new Democratic leadership and slammed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) as "disconnected" Monday before going on to belittle the usefulness of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Tlaib first disregarded an inquiry from CNN's Poppy Harlow about whether Pelosi had become a Democratic "sellout" because of her support of big banks, prompting Harlow to  ask the candidate if she thought Pelosi was disconnected from her constituents’ concerns.

"I think so," Tlaib responded.

Tlaib spoke to CNN "New Day" host John Berman last week about those she has deemed sellouts in the Democratic Party, but also refused to name names at that time. During her campaign, Berman noted she spoke about "changing the Democrat party" and "getting rid of Democratic sellouts."

The candidate, who has received support from New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is poised to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress after winning the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District on Aug. 7. She is running to replace former Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D., Mich.), who announced his resignation amid controversy last year, and she is unopposed in the general election.

Tlaib cited Pelosi’s seemingly apathetic attitude toward some of the poorest districts in the country as reason for pulling her support of the longtime Democratic leader.

"Look, I come from a district that doesn’t feel like they’ve been heard by Congress," Tlaib said. "It has overwhelmingly been ignored on a number of fronts."

Tlaib blamed both Republicans and Democrats for removing financial transparency requirements set forth by the Dodd-Frank Act. She said these protections were critical for working-class families in her district and other low-income areas of the country. This is the second time in the past week Tlaib has expressed her disapproval of Pelosi and advocated for a change in leadership.

"Probably not," Tlaib responded last week when Berman asked her if she’d vote for Pelosi to regain her House speaker title. Tlaib elaborated on her opposition on Harlow’s show Monday.

"I said ‘probably not’ because I want to make sure that they have a voice and the leader that’s going to run the United States Congress," she said. "That is my right to be able to speak on their behalf."

Tlaib was among a dozen protestors who were removed from then-presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speech to the Detroit Economic Club in August 2016. She had asked him to return a Purple Heart he received from a veteran and was eventually ejected from the venue after continuing to yell at Trump to give the medal back, saying he hadn’t earned it.

The candidate joins a list of dozens of Democratic candidates, and some current lawmakers, who have called for leadership change if the Democrats flip the House this fall.  At least 51 Democratic candidates and incumbents have said they won't support Pelosi for House speaker, according to NBC News. Tlaib accompanies fellow progressive Ocasio-Cortez as potentially critical votes that could jeopardize Pelosi’s run at the House speakership position if they are elected to Congress this fall.

When asked if the time had come for a new voice in the House, Tlaib responded simply with, "it is."

Tlaib also called for the abolishment of ICE, a growing call among progressive Democrats. She renounced claims from critics that advocating for its elimination only energizes Trump and the Republican base’s claims Democrats do not want border security. She claimed the U.S. had a secure border prior to the establishment of ICE, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, in 2003.

"We had it," Tlaib said. "We had it before ICE."