Justice Democrats spokesman Waleed Shahid called out Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) for "making fun of" Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) at AIPAC's annual policy conference last month.
Shahid also criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) for not protecting Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), and Omar, whom he called the "rising leaders in the party," during a Thursday panel on MSNBC's All In.
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"There's a 200-miles-per-hour ideological right-wing war machine coming after Ilhan Omar, and also Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and my question is where is the Democratic Party leadership on this?" Shahid said. "You didn't see that many comments from candidates today running for president in 2020, you didn't see that many comments from Nancy Pelosi, or Steny Hoyer or Chuck Schumer for that matter."
Shaid continued to criticize Pelosi in particular for not uplifting these freshman Congresswomen.
"What we've seen is a pattern of the Democratic Party trying to distance themselves away from these women instead of seeing these women as the rising leaders in the party who you have to fight for," Shahid said. "When you are faced with this war machine, you've got to fight back and defend people in your party."
Shahid added that he has continually been "saddened" by the way Democratic leadership has treated Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez.
"I think we need a Democratic Party that actually fights for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib against these attacks because they can't keep running away from them and make fun of them at AIPAC, like Schumer and Hoyer did, or pile on the attacks," Shahid said.
In March, Shahid praised Ocasio-Cortez as the future of the party, saying she has taken up the mantle of socialism from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
"I think Bernie Sanders really opened the debate for democratic socialism in this country. So it's not as fringe as you might think. In fact, what's becoming fringe is if you call yourself a capitalist openly," he said on MSNBC's Headliners.
Correction 8/18: An earlier version of this post identified Hoyer as Majority Whip and Pelosi as Majority Leader which is incorrect. The post has been corrected.