House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said today that “every place” she goes people tell her “thank you for saving America.”
“Winning 23 seats in a voter-suppressed, gerrymandered map was a wave — was a wave. I’d always knew we would win that, but now we’re getting up to 40,” she said of the still-undecided races. “That’s really a very big — almost a tsunami. We’ll see.”
“The thrill of it all is that 30 — half the members — the new members in our Democratic class are women,” she added. “One on the Republican side — happy for that one person, but sad to say just one.”
So far, 17 House Democrats have pledged in a letter to vote against Pelosi for speaker in the 116th Congress. Pelosi told reporters at today’s Capitol Hill press conference that she was “largely responsible for most of the resources that went into those campaigns” of the reticent freshmen lawmakers.
“That didn’t matter to me. I just said, ‘Just win — just win, baby,'” she said.
With rumblings that even more Dems will vote against her for speaker, Pelosi said she’s still confident she has the votes to win, though she said there are “certainly” other people in the caucus who could fill the role.
Asked if she would “accept Republican help to win the gavel,” Pelosi dismissively responded, “Oh, please.”
“No, never, never, never,” she added.
“I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes… I happen to think that I — at this point, I’m the best person for that.”
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) is toying with the idea of challenging Pelosi. “I don’t hate Nancy. I think Nancy has been a very good leader,” Fudge told HuffPost. “I just think it’s time for a new one.”
“I don’t have a pitch because at this point I’ve not decided I’m going to run,” Fudge said, “but I would say this: My concern about the caucus is the same concern I have about the country. Just as there is this undertone of racism in the country, there’s also that in our caucus.”