Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday after the West Virginia senator referred to her as “young lady” while responding to recent criticism.
“In Washington, I usually know my questions of power are getting somewhere when the powerful stop referring to me as ‘Congresswoman’ and start referring to me as ‘young lady’ instead,” Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, said in a pair of tweets that did not refer to Manchin by name.
“Imagine if every time someone referred to someone as ‘young lady’ they were ask responded to by being addressed with their age and gender? They’d be pretty upset if one responded with ‘the old man,’ right? Why this kind of weird, patronizing behavior is so accepted is beyond me!”
The comments come after Manchin, in a Sunday interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” denied recent claims from Ocasio-Cortez that he is beholden to big energy companies.
The congresswoman had previously lambasted Manchin for his refusal to support the Democratic $3.5 trillion spending bill that would address the climate crisis and make further investments in infrastructure, claiming in a tweet that he holds “weekly” meetings with Exxon and “is one of many senators who gives lobbyists their pen to write so-called ‘bipartisan’ fossil fuel bills.”
“I keep my door open for everybody. That’s totally false,” Manchin told CNN’s Dana Bash, staunchly denying the claims. “Those type of superlatives, it’s just awful. Continue to divide, divide, divide. I don’t know the young lady that well. I met her one time, between sets here, but that’s it. We have not had any conversations. She is just speculating and saying things because she wants to.”
The back-and-forth underscores the challenge facing Democratic leadership as they work to unite their party behind the economic bill – a legislative priority of President Joe Biden’s that would expand the nation’s social safety net – and advance it through a narrowly divided Congress with just Democratic votes.
Manchin, potentially imperiling the bill, expressed his reservations on Sunday, telling Bash he would not support the $3.5 trillion price tag and that “there’s no way” Congress can meet the timeline set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass it.