House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stunned Democrats on Thursday by endorsing Rep. Joe Kennedy III’s (D-MA) primary challenge of incumbent Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) — one of the most progressive legislators in the Senate.
The move infuriated the progressive contingent of the Democrat party, causing leftist pundits and politicians to explode in anger against the Democrat establishment — of which the Kennedy family has been a member for decades.
Pelosi’s move was shocking for a number of reasons, one of the most prominent being that Pelosi has discouraged primary challenges of incumbent Democrats for years.
“Never before have the times demanded we elect courageous leaders as today. And that is why I’m proud to endorse Joe Kennedy for Senate,” Pelosi said in a video statement announcing her endorsement on Thursday. “He knows that to achieve progressive change, you must be on the front lines leading movements of people.”
Kennedy and Markey are nearly tied with only weeks to go in the contentious primary, and Pelosi’s endorsement could tip the scales against Markey.
Pelosi’s surprise endorsement sparked major backlash from leftists, highlighting a growing rift within the party that is becoming more apparent by the day.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted on Thursday “No one gets to complain about primary challenges again,” showing remarkable restraint, considering the fact that Markey is one of her strongest backers in the Senate.
Progressive Super-PAC Justice Democrats, a backer of far-left progressives like Ocasio-Cortez, was more forthcoming with its criticism of Pelosi. “Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement of Joe Kennedy makes one thing clear: there’s one set of rules for progressives and another for the party establishment. It’s hypocrisy,” the organization tweeted.