House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday had two words for people believing the idea that her controversial image is hurting her parties effort to win back the lower chamber: “We won.”
Pelosi pointed to the Democrat’s apparent victory this week in a district that Trump won by 20 points in the presidential election of 2016. She maintains that attacks against her will have a limited effect.
“He won. If we hadn’t won, you might have a question. But we won,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol, referring to Conor Lamb’s likely victory.
Below is Lamb saying he would not support Rep. Pelosi as House Majority Leader if Democrats won control of the House.
“Whoever the leader is will be the target. Tip O’Neill was the target. … Tom Foley was the target. That’s the way it is,” she added. “But, no, I feel pretty confident that we’re going to win, we’re going to win big, we’re going to win a lot of seats.”
Pelosi, a liberal San Francisco Democrat, has been a lightning rod in conservative districts for years. Republicans have focused numerous campaign ads that link Democratic candidates to her left-wing policies.
In Pennsylvania’s 18th District campaign Republicans and other outside conservative groups ran numerous ads connecting Lamb to Pelosi hoping to dissolve support for the candidate. Lamb did run an ad of his own in which he disavowed his support for Pelosi and he promised to stay true to the sentiments of his district. This tactic has been approved by Pelosi in the past.
“My opponent wants you to believe that the biggest issue in this campaign is Nancy Pelosi,” Lamb says in the ad. “It’s all a big lie.”
After Pelosi made her comments, the GOP leadership wasted no time in responding. They blasted out an email containing a link to Lamb’s ad distancing himself from the House leader.
Some Democrats are lamenting that their candidates in purple regions will have to use valuable resources to distance themselves from their party leader.
“Clearly it was a factor in the [Lamb] race, and … other candidates will have to determine whether or not that’s going to be their approach,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who challenged Pelosi’s leadership said Wednesday.
“At the end of the day, our candidates need to determine what their positions are on the major issues, — including the issue of leadership — and that needs to be done with the candidate leading the charge,” Ryan added. “That’s the takeaway from Conor: He was not gonna be influenced by anybody from the outside. And that plays well.”
Other Democrats have stood behind Pelosi, arguing that the GOP can target Pelosi this year at their own peril.
“They made her a poster child and it’s going to blow up back in their face,” said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.).
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, suggested the Republicans are targeting Pelosi, not because of her politics, but because of her gender.
“They need to get a new game book. The attempts to use Nancy Pelosi, it’s failing them at this point. And I think, quite frankly, it’s sexist,” Crowley said. “So they need to move on from that.”
Pelosi believes that the Republicans will continue to target her, but downplayed the significance of that strategy.
“That will happen all over the country — demonizing me as the leader of the Democratic Party. … I don’t think that that really had that much impact on the race,” she said.
“This is part of the bankruptcy of the Republican Party,” she added. “They’re devoid of ideas about how they’re going to meet the needs of the American people, so it’s an ad hominem [attack]. They can’t win on the issues, so they go after a person. I feel pretty confident about my ability.”
What do you think of the way Pelosi is responding to the attacks against her?
Credit: The Hill