During a constituent breakfast Tuesday, Democratic congressional candidate Kristen Rosen Gonzalez criticized the leadership of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party’s “political industrial complex.”
Rosen Gonzalez, a Miami Beach commissioner running to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in District 27, addressed her qualms inside the Puerto Sagua Restaurant in Miami Beach.
“When the newly elected people get to Washington D.C., Nancy Pelosi says to them, ‘So, you think you’re gonna do something in Congress? Well, the first thing you have to worry about is getting reelected. So get over to the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and start calling'” donors, Rosen Gonzalez said sharply.
“Excuse me?” she continued, to some laughter. “That’s all it’s about. All it’s about is money, money, money, money. And if you don’t like that, then...they don’t consider you viable.”
Rosen Gonzalez, a Miami-Dade College instructor, would need to work alongside Pelosi if she wins. But she said she hopes her candidacy inspires others to “elect candidates who are not going to be beholden to one person.”
Pelosi has faced recent criticism and even calls to resign from her post following the loss of Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s special election. Conservative ads painted Ossoff as Pelosi’s puppet.
Rosen Gonzalez’s appearance was organized as part of the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club and moderated by former Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower.
During the hourlong talk, Rosen Gonzalez also criticized Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, arguing “everyone deserves access to healthcare,” and proposed reforms to the pharmaceutical and health-insurance industries.
During a question-and-answer segment, she was asked about her thoughts on police reform.
Last month, the Miami Herald published an email Rosen Gonzalez sent to the city manager, in which she wrote, “We need to give the cops back their bullets, remove their body cams, give them their dignity and let them work all the off hours stuff they want.”
She later apologized for the email, writing in a letter to the editor that the words she chose “do not reflect how I truly feel” and that she voted in favor of equipping Beach officers with body cameras.
“I knew I was gonna get this question. I think I’m gonna get it the rest of my political career, so I’m just gonna have to figure out the best way to answer it,” she said Tuesday. “Body cameras are new, so we have to figure out what the policies are and maybe they’re gonna have to be lenient. And if a police officer says a four-letter word, they don’t get punished or get marks on their record. What I was trying to do was just ask some questions, so that i could figure out how to improve the policies surrounding that.”
Photo: Matias J. Ocner, The Miami Herald