House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is getting a great deal of blame from Democrats for this week’s special election losses in Georgia and South Carolina, but another former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich said Thursday he hopes she stays right where she is.
“I hope they keep Nancy for 10 more years,” Gingrich told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” program.
“I want her there for at least another decade. We know exactly how to run against the Nancy Pelosi-run party. We have no questions in 2018 [if it’s] Nancy Pelosi versus Paul Ryan, and I hope that the Democrats keep her right where she is for a long, long time. At least a decade.”
Georgia’s special election marked the largest Republican turnout ever, noted Gingrich, leading Karen Handel to a win over Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff to replace Tom Price, who left his congressional seat after becoming Health and Human Services secretary.
Handel was a good candidate who got better, said the former House speaker, while Ossoff did not live in the district where he was running.
“They had a debate, and each got to ask one question,” he said. “She turned and said ‘who are you going to vote for in the election?’ He couldn’t answer because he wasn’t allowed to vote in his own election.”
The media was right that the special election in Georgia, and to a lesser degree, in South Carolina, was a referendum on Trump, said Gingrich.
“The problems with the news media is they can’t come to grips with the fact that in five different specials, the Republicans have won, and that sort of says maybe he is doing a lot better in America than he is in the news media,” said Gingrich.
Meanwhile, Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program that she believes leadership change is needed from Pelosi on down.
“I sat in a meeting the other day, and I listened to a rationale as to how we should be happy as a caucus because we didn’t lose as badly this past two days ago as we did a year ago,” Rice said.
“But we’re still losing. And that’s my concern. We need to find a different path. We need to have a vision.”
She continued that it’s not easy to call for Pelosi’s replacement, as she’s been a “great speaker” and is a “great leader,” but “her time has come and gone.”
“She’s a great fundraiser, but if the money we’re raising through her leadership is not helping us win elections, we have to have this difficult conversation now,” Rice said.
She also disagreed with a show panelist who asked if she believes Pelosi to be an out-of-touch California liberal.
“I do not believe she’s an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal,” said Rice. “I believe she is not the leader of the Democratic Party. Do I think it’s fair? Do I think it’s fair that the Republican play book over the last four election cycles has been attacking Nancy Pelosi and demonizing her? No. That’s not fair.”
But whether or not the attacks are accurate, they’re working, and Republicans are winning, she said.
“There comes a time in every leader’s life when they have to know it’s time to leave and usher in the next generation of leaders,” said Rice. “And I personally believe that time is now. I thought the time was last November, and I was very vocal about it.
“This is not personal. I have enormous respect for Nancy Pelosi, enormous respect, but I want to win. It is not fun being in Washington when you’re in the minority.”