Ocasio-Cortez Says She Will Support ‘Most Progressive’ Candidate for House Speaker

October 26, 2020 Updated: October 26, 2020

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Sunday said she is planning to support the most progressive candidate for House speaker, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced she would again make a bid to be speaker if Democrats control the House after the Nov. 3 election.

“If Speaker Pelosi runs again, as she just indicated she will, if the Democrats keep the House, will you support her?” a CNN host asked Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday.

“I want to make sure that we win the House,” the first-term self-described democratic socialist said. “I do believe that we will, but it’s critically important that we are supporting Democrats in tight swing races, making sure that not only all of them come back but that we grow our majority.”

But Ocasio-Cortez stipulated she is “committed to making sure that we have the most progressive candidate there, but if Speaker Pelosi is that most progressive candidate, then I will be supporting her.”

“I believe that we have to see those races as they come, see what candidates are there,” she said.

In 2019, Pelosi was reported to have clashed with Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats over policy differences. It was later reported that Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez met in private to overcome their differences.

pelosi defends
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 9, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

On Sunday, when pressed about whether she would run for speaker again, Pelosi told CNN, “Yes, I am.”

“But let me also say that we have to win the Senate, so all this discussion of the virus takes us to the importance of this election,” she added. “Vote your health.”

The California Democrat made history when she became the first female House speaker from 2007 until 2011, when Republicans gained control of the House. She was reelected in 2019 after Democrats took the lower chamber during the midterm elections in 2018.

Since then, Pelosi has developed an acrimonious relationship with President Donald Trump and the two have often criticized one another over a variety of issues. Pelosi reportedly has not met or spoken to Trump in more than a year.

On Friday, Pelosi told Politico that she will not talk about her future beyond the next Congress term or how long she will remain as speaker.

“Right now, it’s serving past the next couple of days,” added Pelosi. “Let’s see what happens in the election. I feel quite certain today, as I said earlier, that we’d win it all. But it isn’t today.”