Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said Sunday that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) was too tough on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and her fellow progressives.
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Sanders what his thoughts were on the ongoing fight between Democratic leadership and the far-left members of the caucus.
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"Is this part of this bigger disruption you helped lead four years ago where the party is just having growing pains? What do you make of this dispute?" Todd asked.
"It goes without saying that the future of our country and the future of the Democratic party rests with young people," Sanders said. "And I'm very proud, by the way, in virtually every poll that I have seen, we are winning people under 45 or 50 years of age and younger."
The feud between Democratic establishment and progressives intensified on Friday night when the House Democrats official Twitter account called out Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff. The fight came to the forefront when in an interview with The New York Times, Pelosi criticized Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.).
"All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world," she said. "But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got [on a border bill]."
Sanders said the future of the Democratic party are young people and people of color and the party should work to bring those people in.
"So I support, you know, Alexandria's and the other women's desire to bring more people, especially young people, working class people, into the Democratic party. That is the future of the Democratic party," Sanders said.
"Do you think the Speaker was being too tough on them?" Todd asked.
"I think a little bit," Sanders said. "You cannot ignore the young people of this country who are passionate about economic and racial and social and environmental justice. You got to bring them in, not alienate them."
Justice Democrats—the progressive group who helped get Ocasio-Cortez elected—thanked Sanders for his comments.
— Justice Democrats (@justicedems) July 14, 2019