Pelosi on Democrats who criticize her: 'I just want them to win'
By Emi Kolawole
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says she doesn't care that Democrats are running away from her as they campaign furiously in the lead-up to the November elections. She just wants them to win.
In an interview with Judy Woodruff on PBS's "NewsHour" on Thursday, Pelosi defended Democrats who are openly criticizing her leadership:
WOODRUFF: The -- some of those candidates are -- who are running for reelection, though, are running against -- trying to distance themselves from you. They're out there saying, "I didn't go along with Nancy Pelosi and spending bills; I didn't go along with the speaker and the president on health-care reform."
PELOSI: Well, if they didn't --
WOODRUFF: How do you --
PELOSI: That's their record. We don't have -- sometimes Washington gets used to a rubber stamp Congress, which was the very homogenous Congress of the Republican. We're very diverse in opinion, gender, generation, geography, philosophy ... and some members did not vote for some of the bills, and that's their record, and that's what they go out and say. I just want them to win. They know their districts; they are great communicators, very eloquent communicators to their own constituents, and they are the --will be the independent representatives. I say to them, 'Your job description and your title are one and the same: Representative.' So they run on who they are. They don't run on -- and what this is about, again, it just takes it to the middle class. It's not about me; it's about the middle class. They know that. That's what unites us.
WOODRUFF: Even if they're implying criticism of you in their campaign.
PELOSI: Well, they took a different vote. That's a disagreement. I don't call that a criticism.
In the interview, Pelosi also addressed Congress's punt on passing legislation to extend the middle-class tax cuts. Asked whether stalling the vote was a miscalculation, Pelosi replied: "No, not at all...Our members are fully prepared to go home and talk about what they support, and it doesn't require a vote to take a position in it."
Pelosi also insisted that she would return after November with a firm hold on the speaker's gavel. When asked about the possibility that House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) will take over her spot, Pelosi said, "Well, you know what? I'm not here to talk about that, because I'm not predicating any conversation on the basis of Democrats not winning the majority."
The full interview airs Thursday night on PBS.
| September 30, 2010; 4:25 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Election, 44 The Obama Presidency, Democratic Party
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