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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday came out praising the freshmen congresswomen who became the target of President Donald Trump’s ire in recent days. Biden said democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is “smart as hell,” and praised the “energy” of her progressive allies.
Over the weekend, President Trump suggested on Twitter that progressive congresswomen should “go back” to the countries they “originally came from.” His comments set off a firestorm, and the presumed targets of his attack — Ocasio-Cortez and fellow Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) — held a news conference Monday condemning the president’s comments as “racist” with two of them repeating calls for his impeachment, according to the Washington Examiner.
The president’s tirade against the congresswomen came amid turmoil between the four congresswomen and House Democratic leadership, as the freshmen rabble-rousers had been increasingly at odds with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in recent weeks.
In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday, co-host Mika Brzezinski asked Biden to weigh in on Pelosi’s handling of the Democratic caucus, “especially the young freshmen and all the controversy.”
The former vice president heaped praise on all the women, calling Pelosi “masterful,” before adding, “I think the freshmen, particularly AOC, is smart as hell, really bright.”
Biden went on to reiterate, “AOC is brilliant, and the other three women we’re talking about are really smart, but they are the exception rather than the rule.” The presidential contender also noted that most of the House Democrats who took over seats in 2018 are more moderate than the progressives receiving media attention.
Biden also said of Ocasio-Cortez and the other progressives, “We need that kind of energy, but that’s not the majority of Democrats who got elected last time.”