California Democratic Rep. John Garamendi made it clear that he was not impressed by his colleague, Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, after her performance in Wednesday’s committee hearing with Elliott Abrams.
Garamendi’s initial response to Omar’s performance was simple: “Very poorly done,” he told “America’s Newsroom” host Sandra Smith on Thursday. (RELATED: Abrams Clearly Answers ‘No’ — Rep. Omar Says ‘I’ll Take That As A Yes’ Anyway)
But then he qualified his answer, explaining that in hearings, it can be easy to get thrown off the track or respond emotionally. “But it’s not unusual to have emotional clashes. It is not unusual to have questions asked and answers given that are really out of line,” he said.
Smith asked him to clarify further, and Garamendi obliged:
Well, the nature of the question. . . . We have very limited time to ask questions and there are certain issues that we would like to get answers to. When you get off track, and I suppose I have over the years gotten off track and not taken my time available to get to the heart of the matter. That’s clearly what happened there.
Smith then referenced another freshman lawmaker, Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who had a very different response to Omar’s questions.
I often reflect on @AyannaPressley‘s words: “people closest to the pain should be closest to the power.”@IlhanMN is a Somali refugee. She has felt the ravages of war. Watching her question Trump’s envoy to VZ, who pled guilty to several Iran-Contra crimes, feels like justice. https://t.co/3mFv0lmAis
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 14, 2019
“[Ocasio-Cortez] said that it feels like justice. I just wonder what you think, as a Democrat yourself in Congress, what you think of these moments,” Smith said.
“Well, I’ve seen these moments both from Democrats and Republicans and I — undoubtedly over the years I’ve been here and before in California — taken the opportunity to be impolite and that’s never useful.”