Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., raised eyebrows on Sunday with her characterization of the Democratic Party as one “big family,” despite the renewed infighting over a spate of losses in the 2020 election that continues to divide moderate Democrats and the party’s more progressive wing.
In an interview on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” over the weekend, Omar said, “When you think about our party, Speaker Pelosi always says we are a big tent, and that means that we are a big family.”
“We all have our own constituencies that we have to serve. We are part of a caucus working on behalf of the people. We think of ourselves as the party of the people,” she said.
Omar’s comments, however, come as Democrats continue to trade blame over who’s ultimately responsible for the lackluster showing in the 2020 election. While Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeated President Trump in the presidential race, Democrats lost seats in the House and failed to flip a number of seats in the Senate from Republican hands.
Moderates have pointed fingers at their colleagues — Omar among them — for embracing the “defund the police’ movement” as well as the version of socialism advocated by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Omar is one of four progressive Democratic congresswoman – along with Ocasio-Cortez- who refer to themselves as “The Squad.”
But on Sunday, Omar appeared to change her tune, crediting the party’s unity for Biden’s victory — a rejection, she said, of the Republicans that “allowed chaos to reign for four years” of President Trump’s administration.
“There was a movement that happened this summer, and it delivered this victory, the rise of the amount of people that registered to vote,” she said. “We owe to the movement to make sure that the chaos that they voted against does not follow us to our caucus. And to make sure that the justice that they seek is implemented in the policies that we advocate for.”
“I know that Biden invited the American people to be a unifying force against darkness. And as a caucus, we have to be unified against that,” she said. “To think about allowing ourselves to let the Republicans decide how we are to function as a caucus is really painful because this is, you know, a party that has lied, that has smeared, that has used everything that they can to attack us.”
Omar added, “The American people have decided to put us in charge to say we want something different. We can’t disappoint them.”