House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday she is confident the Supreme Court will uphold the president's health care law and argued its passage did not doom House Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.
"I have confidence in the merits of the case. I believe in judicial review and we wrote the bill, obviously, in compliance with the Constitution of the United States. We thought we were iron clad. You never know in court," Pelosi said in an interview on PBS' Charlie Rose show.
Pelosi said the health care law was the "crown jewel" of President Barack Obama's accomplishments, but one with "stiff competition" from other legislative accomplishments.
"I think it is the most important, but it isn't the legacy," Pelosi said.
A recent academic study found the health care law cost Democrats exactly the number of seats that gave Republicans the House majority last cycle. But Pelosi said the problem for incumbent Democrats in 2010 was the economy.
"My contention, and being a politician and studying all of this very carefully all the time, I would say overwhelming the main reason for the defeat of Democrats in the 2010 election was 9.5 percent unemployment. It defies political gravity to win an election for the incumbents when you have 9.5 percent unemployment," Pelosi said.
The California Democrat added that the economic concerns caused the public to react adversely to the focus on health care.
"It also was a shield. 'Let me talk to you about health care.' 'Wait a minute, I don't have a job. I want a job, I want a job, I want a job,'" Pelosi said, describing an imaginary conversation with a voter.
Pelosi was optimistic about Democrats taking back the House in the 2012 elections and said that the recent debate over women's issues has helped Democrats politically. The party needs to net 25 seats for Pelosi to regain the Speaker's gavel in 2013.
"We've outraised the Republicans. We've out recruited them. Our candidates our outstanding. And we have out redistricted them," Pelosi said.
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