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Pelosi Focused on Fiscal Cliff Fight

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Pelosi says Democratic unity on economic issues will help Democrats prevail in swing districts in 2014, even though the electoral landscape promises to be challenging because of redistricting changes.

“Is the point that you don’t want to put your members on the spot? Figure it out. We did.”

In the interview from her Capitol office, Pelosi said the top Democratic leadership team — herself, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Obama — remains unified in cliff negotiations and that the leverage that each holds ensures their mutual respect for their positions.

“Whether it’s the president of the United States or the leader of the Senate, we all have shared values. We understand each other’s views. We respect each other’s leadership. And we need each other’s votes, or signature, as the case may be,” Pelosi said.

However, the situation requires her trust in Obama. For example, Pelosi had not been briefed on a GOP counteroffer sent on Tuesday to the White House, the details of which remain concealed from the public.

“I don’t think we saw it,” Pelosi said when asked about its details.

“He knows our views. We trust his judgment,” Pelosi said later of Obama.

Facing a challenging electoral landscape in 2014, in part because of redistricting changes made at an apex of GOP power in 2010, Pelosi said Democratic unity on economic issues will help bring victory in swing districts that are key to her party regaining a House majority.

“You know, there’s some issues, whether it relates to guns or social issues or maybe a woman’s right to choose or the rest, which we have diversity of opinion in our caucus. But our unifying principle is that we are here for working families. So once you have a shared value, it’s not a question of someone going over to the other side, because they certainly do not share the value of being here for working families,” Pelosi said.

What’s needed to appeal to moderate districts isn’t a moderate leader, she said.

“We have to have a leader [who] can attract the resources, mobilize the forces, calm some elements in our caucus, curb the enthusiasm for some who might take us a different place and recognize that this carefully woven fabric that we call the House Democratic Caucus depends on the strength of every strand that is there,” Pelosi said.

“So we listen to our, we listen to our members. And that is how we develop what our message is. It’s not from any one corner of the caucus.”

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