Politics

Pelosi Confident on Possible Speakership, Won’t Speculate on Minority Scenario

On some Democrats’ calls for new leadership: ‘If they have to do that to win the election, I’m all for winning’

“I can't even think of not winning” control of the House in November, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, told a Washington audience on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence Tuesday in her ability to be elected speaker if Democrats retake the majority in November but wouldn’t say whether she’d stick around and run for minority leader if they fall short of that goal.

“I can’t even think of not winning,” the California Democrat said at a Politico Playbook event. “And you have to believe.”

Along with her unwavering view that Democrats will retake the majority, Pelosi was confident that the her caucus will elect her speaker.

“I feel very confident about the support my colleagues in our caucus are giving me,” she said.

Pelosi also was not concerned about Democratic candidates who have said they will not support her.

“I think if they have to do that to win the election, I’m all for winning,” she said.

“Many are saying we need new leadership,” Pelosi added. “I don’t take offense at that.”

One of the reasons Pelosi wants to run for speaker again — she became the first woman speaker in 2007 and held the gavel for four years until Republicans took control of the House — is to ensure there is a woman at the negotiating table.

When she thought Hillary Clinton was going to be elected president and Democrats would retake the Senate in 2016, Pelosi was prepared to leave.

“There’d be a women at the head of the table, the Affordable Care Act would be protected, I could go home,” she said, recalling her thinking at the time and noting “Nobody in California gets Potomac Fever.”

But Pelosi said she’s justified her decision to stay in Congress bade on the need to have a woman, especially one with her legislative prowess, in a top leadership position.

“That became very important to me that there’d be a woman at the table where these decisions get negotiated,” she said.

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