House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told Bay Area public radio station KQED on Wednesday that Democrats needed “new leadership” — but she herself is not stepping aside and is continuing her quest to return as Speaker of the House if her party wins the midterm elections in November.
Pelosi told KQED that Democrats are running against a “culture of corruption” in Washington that she says President Donald Trump has “engendered.”
Pelosi also pushed back on recent calls for her to step down as leader of the House Democrats, saying that “special interest, dark money” and the opposing party shouldn’t be choosing Democrats’ leader.
“They attack me because they’re scared of me,” she said, ticking off her list of legislative accomplishments, including the Affordable Care Act. “I eat their lunch.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the KQED studios on Aug. 22, 2018. (Samantha Shanahan/KQED)
But she tried to draw a distinction between what many candidates have been saying — that the party needs new leadership — and whether that’s an attack on her personally.
“Everyone wants new leadership,” she said. “I want new leadership.”
Pelosi also warned that the policies being pushed by “progressive” Democrats such as self-described “democratic socialist” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who wants to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), are not helping the party.
Though Democrats are increasingly eager to impeach the president, she continued to dampen expectations on that front.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday that although a growing number of Democratic candidates say they will not vote for Pelosi as Speaker if they are elected, more than 20 of them have accepted cash from Pelosi’s leadership PAC and campaign committee, casting doubt on their public commitments to oppose her.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.