Democratic congressional candidates are revolting against Nancy Pelosi in even bigger numbers, amid fears that her grip on power could hurt the party’s chances in the midterms and hold back its next generation of leaders.
The list of candidates refusing to support the California Democrat for speaker — or refusing to state their position — has steadily grown, though estimates vary.
The Washington Post counts at least 27 Democratic House candidates who won’t commit support.
Another count published by NBC News says over 50 Democratic candidates and incumbents would not support Pelosi for speaker —should the party take back the 23-seat majority from Republicans.
Rashida Tlaib, who just won a House Democratic primary in Michigan, was the latest to come out against Pelosi for speaker.
“Probably not. That’s my answer, no. Probably not,” Tlaib said on CNN’s “New Day”Thursday when asked if she would support Pelosi in a vote for speaker. “For me, I need someone that, again, is connected with the different levels of poverty going on, the fact that there are structures and barriers for working families in my district that need to be dismantled, and supporting big banks and supporting efforts that I don’t think put the people first is troubling.”
Tlaib said constituents in the district she hopes to represent—the Detroit metro area—don’t feel like they are “being heard” in Washington.
“I think that starts at the top with leadership,” Tlaib said.
Pelosi’s prominence, meanwhile, has served as a political weapon for Republicans, as it has across numerous election cycles.
President Trump repeatedly sought to tie Pelosi to Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Danny O’Connor in this week’s special House election.
Though the race has not been officially called, Republican Troy Balderson has claimed victory in that close contest.
The National Republican Congressional Committee has put out an ad campaign tying many Democratic candidates to Pelosi and her policies.
“Democrats cannot escape the Nancy Pelosi leadership conundrum. Her potential return to the speakership should be a rallying cry for every Republican to get out and vote in November,” Republican National Committee spokesman Steve Guest told Fox News in a statement Friday. “Her number one priority would be to reverse the great American comeback ushered in by President Trump and Congressional Republicans.”
The Pelosi question also has led to some awkward TV moments for Democratic candidates.
Before this week’s election, O’Connor was pressed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on whether he would vote for Pelosi as speaker if he were elected to the House.
“We need new leadership on both sides, the old ways aren’t working,” O’Connor said repeatedly. But when pressed on what he would do if Democrats absolutely needed him to vote for Pelosi to stop Republicans from keeping the speaker’s gavel, he admitted he’d support “whoever the Democrats put forward.” He later reiterated that he would not support Pelosi.
Source: Fox News