House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lauded her leadership record Thursday after some Democrats suggested that the party should seek new leadership following the party’s loss Tuesday in the special election runoff in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.
Democrat Jon Ossoff lost to Republican Karen Handel in a race many Democrats viewed as an opportunity to flip a long-held Republican congressional seat. The race was the most expensive House race in American history.
In the aftermath of the Georgia election — which was the fourth Democratic special-election loss in as many contests since President Donald Trump’s inauguration — some Democrats have said that the party is lacking competent leadership, also citing former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump last year. Some Democratic lawmakers have called for Pelosi to step down from her leadership role in the House.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) called for newer, younger leadership in the party and said the Democrats’ “brand is worse than Trump” during an interview this week with The New York Times.
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the time for Pelosi’s leadership has “come and gone.”
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) said on Twitter that the party should move on from Clinton’s loss and use Ossoff’s loss as a “wake up call.”
We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent not a smaller one. Focus on the future.
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 21, 2017
But Pelosi defended her record of leadership Thursday during a news conference, calling herself a “master legislator.”
“So you want me to sing my praises, is that what you’re saying? Why should I?” Pelosi began. “Well, I’m a master legislator. I am a strategic, politically astute leader. … My leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I’m able to attract the support that I do, which is essential to our elections.”
Pelosi said that she feels “very confident” in the support she has from her caucus and argued that “effective” leaders become “targets.”
“We don’t agonize, we organize,” she said of her party.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to offer a tongue-in-cheek endorsement of the minority leader.
“I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy [Pelosi] out,” Trump wrote. “That would be very bad for the Republican Party.”
Trump also said he wants Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to stay, referring to him as “Cryin’ Chuck.”
I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out. That would be very bad for the Republican Party – and please let Cryin' Chuck stay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017