Pelosi, in her Thursday remarks, said she didn’t believe Omar’s comments were “intended in an anti-Semitic way.” Discussing the resolution, she said that because that’s how the comments were interpreted by some, “We have to remove all doubt, as we have done over and over again.”
“We’re working now on a resolution on the floor that will, again, speak out against anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy and all the forms it takes, that our country has no place for this,” she said.
The speaker went on to say that she thought “the resolution should enlarge the issue to anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy ― and it should not mention [Omar’s] name, and that’s what we’re working on, something that is one resolution addressing all those forms of hatred and not mentioning her name.”
“Because it’s not about her. It’s about these forms of hatred,” said Pelosi.
Pelosi also said that she does not believe Omar needs to apologize, but rather “explain.”
“It’s up to her to explain. But I do not believe she understood the full weight of the words,” she said.
Part of what Omar needs to adjust to, Pelosi said, is the difference in approach between being an activist for a given cause and being a member of Congress. Referring to her own past as both a mother and activist before winning a House seat in the late 1980s, she said, “That was me pushing a stroller and carrying those signs. I understand how advocates come in with their enthusiasms.”
Pelosi continued: “But when you cross that threshold in the Congress, your words weigh much more than when you’re shouting at somebody outside. And I feel confident that (Omer’s) words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude.”
But that she didn’t have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people where these words have a history and a cultural impact that might have been unknown to her.”