Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksNew York Democrat on Ocasio-Cortez, other progressives: ‘Primaries go two ways’ The Hill’s Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question CBC lawmakers rip Justice Democrats for targeting black lawmakers for primaries MORE reportedly called out fellow New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSecond Republican announces plans to challenge Ocasio-Cortez in New York Overnight Energy: EPA expands use of pesticide it considers ‘highly toxic’ to bees | House passes defense bill with measure targeting ‘forever chemicals’ | Five things to watch as Barry barrels through the Gulf Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran MORE and other progressives for their ongoing feud with House leadership, saying “primaries go two ways.”
Meeks, who is serving his 11th term in Congress, told the New York Daily News on Friday that Ocasio-Cortez should back down from her public spat with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSocial media summit highlights partisan approaches on tech Ocasio-Cortez’s racism charge shows Pelosi at risk of being devoured by the revolution New York Democrat on Ocasio-Cortez, other progressives: ‘Primaries go two ways’ MORE (D-Calif.).
“Primaries go two ways,” he told the Daily News. “If someone picks a fight with somebody else, you fight back. That’s what my parents told me.”
He added, “If you get in the ring, expect that people are going to start throwing punches.”
Meeks, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), echoed remarks he made in an interview with The Hill on Thursday, when he said that those who try to come after CBC members could face their own primary challengers.
“I don’t know what that agenda is, but if they want to come after members of the Black Caucus, it’s two ways,” warned Meeks, who clashed with Justice Democrats, a progressive group, over support for candidates in a Queens district attorney race last month.
A growing number of progressive House Democrats, frustrated with the feud between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, have accused the freshman New York lawmaker of crossing a line when she suggested that Pelosi was treating minority women unfairly, seemingly referencing herself and three other progressive congresswomen known as “the squad.”
President TrumpDonald John TrumpIn 1710 the Brits impeached an orange-haired populist — It did not go well Philadelphia mayor posts photo of Rapinoe atop City Hall: ‘Equal pay now!’ Social media summit highlights partisan approaches on tech MORE offered rare support for Pelosi on Friday, saying he thought Ocasio-Cortez was “very disrespectful to somebody who’s been there a long time.”
“I deal with Nancy Pelosi a lot and we go back and forth and it’s fine, but I think that a group of people is being very disrespectful to her,” Trump said. “And you know what, I don’t think that Nancy can let that go on.”
Meeks called Ocasio-Cortez’s comments “intolerable,” adding that “we’re all on the same team. You don’t go after the speaker like that.”
Meeks also went after Justice Democrats, which supported Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional bid last year, saying both the group and the candidates it supports are potential threats to the Democrats’ House majority.
“I would hope that these individuals would realize who the opposition is here,” Meeks told the Daily News. “The focus should be to keep the majority, grow the majority and win the presidency.”
A second Republican announced Friday that he would launch a campaign challenging Ocasio-Cortez for her seat next year. No Democratic challenger to Ocasio-Cortez has yet to declare their candidacy.