AOC says Nancy Pelosi needs to go, but doesn’t want to be next House leader

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Far-left New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says fellow Democrats need to plan to replace House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but that it “can’t be me” filling her shoes.

The 31-year-old socialist says that the leadership swap can’t happen immediately because there aren’t many options among House Democrats.

“I do think we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” AOC said in a podcast published Wednesday by The Intercept.

“I think one of the things that I have struggled with,” she added, “is the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there [are] very little options for succession.” 

The 80-year-old Pelosi has as her deputies Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), also 80, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who is 81.

“We need to make sure that we have a transition of power in the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

The second-term Bronx and Queens congresswoman, first elected in 2018, said “the answer is we need to shift power.”

“If you create that vacuum, there are so many nefarious forces at play to fill that vacuum with something even worse. And so, the actual sad state of affairs is that there are folks more conservative than even they are willing to kind of fill that void,” she said.

“The House is extraordinarily complex and I’m not ready,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It can’t be me. I know that I couldn’t do that job.”

Pelosi has publicly belittled Ocasio-Cortez and her band of relatively young and left-wing “Squad” allies.

“They didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got,” Pelosi said last year following a border policy vote.

Although denounced by Republicans as too liberal, many Democrats view Pelosi as too conservative on a range of issues, from mass surveillance and single-payer health care to foreign policy.

Ocasio-Cortez voted for Pelosi as speaker in 2019 and her support is needed again with a narrower Democratic majority due to Nov. 3 losses.

Democrats are expected to hold 222 seats to Republicans’ 213 seats next month.

Fifteen generally more conservative Democrats opposed Pelosi during the last speaker vote — including Rep. Max Rose of Staten Island and Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who is now a Republican.

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