House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tripled down on calling the GOP’s recently enacted tax cuts “crumbs” after multiple Democrats warned her this week that doing so could make Democrats look like “patricians” to working-class voters and hurt the party’s chances of taking back Congress.
Vice President Mike Pence ramped up the pressure on Pelosi on Thursday, slamming Pelosi for being “out of touch” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
“She keeps saying that the $1,000 bonus for working Americans is nothing more than crumbs,” Pence said. “I mean, seriously folks, when our kids were little, we had a term for another $1,000 in our paycheck at the end of the year—Christmas.”
Pence reminded Americans that he was in Congress the last time Pelosi and Democrats were in control and warned that Democrats will quickly raise taxes if they take back Congress in 2018.
“It would be a disaster for our cause if Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House again,” Pence told the crowd. “We will not let that happen”
After being heckled at a town hall event in Arizona this week about her net worth, Pelosi told the Arizona Republic that did not have any second thoughts about calling the tax cuts “crumbs.”
When the Republic asked her whether she regretted comparing the tax cuts to crumbs, Pelosi said, “oh, no.” She added that “Republicans provided a great banquet for the high end” and working-class Americans got “crumbs compared to the banquet.”
She then ripped House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) for his tone-deaf tweet bragging that a worker got an extra $1.50 a week because of the tax cuts, saying that was an example of the “crumminess” of the deal. Pelosi then said the tax cuts were like a “dark cloud over the Capitol” because it prevented Congress from investing in various other government programs after calling the tax cuts “unpatriotic” at a town hall event.
As Politico reported, Democrats have become increasingly concerned that Pelosi, who also said the tax cuts would lead to “armageddon,” continues describing the tax cuts as “crumbs” to middle-class voters who are benefiting from them.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) told Politico that he would not refer to the tax cuts as “crumbs” and a lot of Blue-Dog Democrats would not do so either. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) told the outlet: “I think for people making $40,000 a year, any increase in their take-home is significant for them, and I don’t want to diminish that at all.” And Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) warned Pelosi that Democrats cannot be seen as out-of-touch “patricians.”
“Language is important, and we have to be very careful that we don’t insult people by saying that the amount of money they get is crumbs,” Cleaver reportedly told Politico. “We cannot be seen as patricians.”
A recent New York Times poll found that a majority now support the GOP’s tax cuts, with 51% in favor. Just 37% supported the tax cuts in December before Americans started seeing the benefits in their paychecks. The poll also found that 89% of Republicans supported the tax cuts and even some Democrats are warming up to the tax cuts. An independent voter who supports Democrats told the Times that though she was initially skeptical of the tax cuts, she supported them after the tax cuts helped her husband’s business.
Democrats are reportedly becoming alarmed that Republicans will retain control of the House by running against Pelosi while other Democrats allow President Donald Trump’s tweets to sidetrack them. These Democrats believe that Pelosi’s out-of-touch “crumbs” comparisons are doing herself and the party no favors.