House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is calling on every single House Democrat to answer for what he called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “privilege” after she broke coronavirus lockdown and public health restrictions in San Francisco to get her hair done without wearing a mask.
“As small business owners, hard-working Americans, and families across the country are doing everything they can to get back on their feet and defeat the virus, Nancy Pelosi thinks she deserves special treatment,” McCarthy told Breitbart News exclusively.
On Monday, Pelosi got her hair done at a salon in San Francisco that has been closed for months because of Democrat policies in the city and in the state of California that bar such activity in light of the coronavirus pandemic. In surveillance footage of the House speaker that the salon owner gave to Fox News, Pelosi is shown without a mask—indoors in a salon that is not open for business to the general public.
Hair salons in San Francisco reopened on Tuesday for outdoor-only service, and local restrictions require everyone to wear a mask, meaning Pelosi violated a number of local ordinances to get her hair done without a mask. When she was caught and reporters later confronted her about it a press conference, she refused to apologize and blamed the salon—claiming that the salon set her up and demanding an apology from the salon. Many compared Pelosi’s claims of a setup to the excuse former Washington, DC, mayor Marion Barry made when he was caught smoking crack, when he said, “The bitch set me up.” For the record, Pelosi was lying when she claimed it was a setup: the salon owner made it clear in an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News that she made the appointment.
In his statement to Breitbart News, McCarthy said Pelosi cannot spin her way out of this.
“After her hypocrisy was exposed, instead of taking ownership of her own negligence, she is now blaming and bullying the business owner, a San Francisco resident, who has struggled for the past six months to provide for her family,” McCarthy said. “There is no way to spin this; the senior Democrat elected leader in Congress ignored local ordinance and is now looking to blame someone else.”
Pelosi’s refusal to accept responsibility and be held accountable for her own actions has caused a political firestorm just two months from the election. CNN’s Chris Cillizza even called her actions an in-kind contribution to President Donald Trump’s reelection, and CNN anchor Don Lemon on Wednesday night said Pelosi should have just admitted she messed up and moved on. Now that she has dug in, Republicans are seizing on this as a moment that demonstrates Democrats’ elitism—and something that may seriously hurt down-ticket Democrat House candidates. McCarthy said in his exclusive statement to Breitbart News that every House Democrat must answer for Pelosi’s misconduct.
“Every single House Democrat, including those who pretend to be moderate, like T.J. Cox, Lizzie Fletcher, and Peter DeFazio, should have to answer for Pelosi’s privilege,” McCarthy said.
For Republicans to retake the House majority in November, they need to flip a net 17 seats from Democrat control back into GOP hands. There are 30 districts that Democrats currently represent that Trump won in 2016, and there are another dozen or so districts that Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton won in 2016 that the GOP feels it can compete in to take seats from Democrats. In total, there are 42 districts that Republicans say they are stronger in than the southern California seat that Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) won in the special election this year in a seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) when she resigned amid a sex scandal with staffers in her office.
The fact that McCarthy in his statement specifically highlighted Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and T.J. Cox (D-CA) means he is specifically focused on flipping several of those outer ring Democrat-controlled seats. This week, he campaigned with Alek Skarlatos, the Republican nominee in the Oregon district running against DeFazio. Skarlatos, a national hero who stopped a terrorist attack aboard a train in Europe, is the GOP nominee in the district that Trump nearly won in 2016; the president came within a tenth of a percent of defeating Clinton there—which means DeFazio, who has represented that seat for decades, could be in trouble in November.
Fletcher represents Texas’s 7th Congressional District, which is rated by the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index as having a seven-point voter registration advantage for Republicans even though she won the seat in the 2018 midterms and Clinton won the district slightly in 2016. Wesley Hunt, the GOP nominee against Fletcher this year, is a black conservative combat pilot who flew Apache helicopters for the U.S. Army in Iraq.
Cox, meanwhile, represents a bluer district that Cook rates as giving Democrats a five-point advantage in voter registration and that Clinton won by double digits in 2016. But now, former Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), the Republican nominee again this year trying to take back his old seat, held on through Clinton’s victory in the district but lost it to Cox in the midterm elections in 2018.
If Democrats lose seats like these, along with several other battleground districts more favorable to Republicans, it is quite possible they could lose their House majority—and if that happens, Pelosi would almost certainly retire since she is now 80 years old.
That is what makes Pelosi’s decision to violate the coronavirus lockdown restrictions—and mask ordinance—that she regularly berates Republicans over even more curious. Why would she risk her own members in this process?
“What Pelosi did was hand Trump, whose entire 2020 campaign strategy, such as it is, in the 2020 campaign, is to troll liberals and media, a massive gift-wrapped present with her salon trip,” CNN’s Cillizza wrote. “For Trump and his Republican allies, the whole episode affirms everything they have been saying these last few years about liberals. Whether Pelosi thought she was following the rules in place is lost entirely in the Trump campaign’s rush to use the incident as a symbol of the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do culture that they argue pervades the Democratic Party — on COVID-19 (and everything else).”
Cillizza added that Pelosi’s “mistake” is “a totally unforced error” that hands Trump a massive victory.
“Pelosi knows that the Trump campaign isn’t going to give her the benefit of the doubt. Ever,” Cillizza wrote. “And that they are always on the lookout for proof that liberal leaders actually have two standards: One for them and one for everybody else.”