Nancy Pelosi’s top spokesman compares leadership critics to ‘lynch mobs’

By John Wagner

WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s top spokesman on Wednesday compared leadership critics to “lynch mobs” and accused Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, of “heckling” as the two tried to interrupt her marathon speech on Tuesday.

“Lynch mobs? I think that is what it feels like,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a news briefing on Wednesday. “It feels like they’re trying to obstruct, to shout down, to disrupt.”

Hammill said “it’s pretty much in-your-face,” saying the Democrats’ “hallmarks are collegiality, respect, listening, speaking up.”

The members’ disruption came during a speech Pelosi made on Monday night in which she claimed to be prepared to take “full responsibility” for the Democratic Party’s fall from its 2010-14 dominance, when it held the House majority and became known as the “majority of one.”

That was before Ocasio-Cortez, an environmental activist who defeated House Republican Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s primary, was elected to the House.

Hammill accused Ryan of interrupting Pelosi’s speech and trying to “try to shut me down.”

He said Ocasio-Cortez “stormed the microphone,” ignoring Pelosi’s admonition that she was there to listen to her own speech.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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