by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
House Democrats expressed frustration with “the Squad” after voting Wednesday to defend them from President Trump, saying they played right into Trump’s hands and don’t deserve that kind of support from House leaders they’ve criticized.
“Many are extremely frustrated,” CNN’s Jake Tapper reported in a Twitter thread Wednesday, based on conversations he had with Democrats on the Hill. They’re not as unified as their votes this week indicate, he said.
One House Democrat told Tapper the showdown between the White House and “the Squad” served Trump’s interests. “The president won this one,” the unnamed Democrat said. “What the president has done is politically brilliant. Pelosi was trying to marginalize these folks and the president has now identified the entire party with them.”
House Democrats voted unanimously Tuesday to condemn Trump’s tweets attacking “the Squad” — freshmen Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley — as racist. The vote followed a tiff between Ocasio-Cortez and House leadership over her accusation that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is racist.
Another House Democrat told Tapper the whole thing is distracting Democrats from the “bread and butter” issues they need to focus on to win in 2020.