Ayanna Pressley Said The Squad’s “Sisterhood” Transcends Presidential Politics

WASHINGTON — First-term Rep. Ayanna Pressley told TheNewstip’ AM to DM that while Sen. Elizabeth Warren is not expected to win Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, “she knows how to fight, she knows how to win, especially when she’s being underestimated.”

Pressley is in New Hampshire campaigning for Warren Tuesday, where the Massachusetts senator is polling below second place after coming in third in last week’s Iowa caucuses. Asked where Warren can win, Pressley emphasized that Warren has “a robust 31-state grassroots strategy” and that the campaign’s strategy “is just to be head-down and to honor our mantra as Team Warren, and that is to outwork, out-organize, and outlast.”

As she’s been “crisscrossing the country” for Warren, Pressley told AM to DM that the energy “feels good, it feels like a movement. The energy is palpable and it only continues to grow.”

Pressley said she believes that Warren “remains our best chance and starkest contrast to Donald Trump. She’s a woman and we currently have someone who is a go-it-alone narcissist, and, you know, she is a moment and a coalition builder. She’s a partner. She keeps her promises. And that matters. There’s a deficit of trust in government right now.”

Asked about frustrations with the lack of diversity in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote in the primary season, Pressley noted that “demographics will continue to change” as the campaign moves into South Carolina, Nevada, and beyond, but she also argued that those communities should not be treated monolithically.

“As a voter, I’m sick and tired of giving politicians and elected officials a pass when they come into communities and try to engage and court an entire constituency through a single issue,” she said, highlighting attempts to attract black voters, women, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community simply by focusing on one or two issues. “People don’t live in big-check boxes, we live in complexity and intersectional and nuance and that’s what I’ve found that [Warren] has responded with.”

“She’s as empathetic as she is electable,” Pressley added. “She knows how to fight, she knows how to win, especially when she’s being underestimated. I’ve seen it up close and personal.”

Pressley said that her decision to endorse Warren hasn’t caused any problems between her and other members of “the Squad,” even as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar have all endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.

“Our sisterhood transcends politics,” Pressley said, calling her endorsement “relational” given her decade of friendship with Warren. The Democrats said that she sees her fellow Squad members “around on the trail and we encourage and support and we elevate each other.”

Pressley also addressed the trolls who have attacked her since she revealed that she has alopecia, saying that her staff and husband have encouraged her to “stay out of my mentions and not pay attention to such things.”

“It’s hurtful and it’s certainly disappointing,” Pressley said. “But I have to say those barbs, those insults, are in some ways par for the course for someone doing this work and who is so transparent. But by and large, the support has been overwhelming. So you know, those few trolls can’t compete with my bald squad. … My identity has been weaponized, so this is just one more thing with which to make me feel small, but this is so much bigger than me.”

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