In a period of heightened awareness surrounding threats of political violence, recent comments by U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are attracting some media scrutiny.
As The Washington Times reported, Pelosi was being interviewed last weekend when she shared her vision for the Democratic Party, assuming her side of the aisle regained control of the congressional chamber on Election Day.
During the Brentzen Ball in D.C., she told “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness that she believes her party must be prepared to “take a punch and throw a punch” in the political arena.
The notable segment comes in the context of a longer quote in which Pelosi laid out what she believes is the party’s path to victory.
“So the point is that what we’re trying to do is just speak to them not about where we disagree, but where we agree, that they need to have a bigger paycheck and lower health care costs and that their voice should be stronger rather than a special dark interest money being spent more important,” she said. “So that’s how we would win.”
Assuming the prevailing wisdom among political pundits that Democrats retake the House, Pelosi indirectly cited her own leadership as a guide to the party’s future direction.
“When we win, when we open our Congress, it will be transparent, just as it was when we were in the majority before,” she said. “We were transparent so that the people can see how legislation affects their lives, not in the dark of night, speed of light, to pass a tax bill that rips them off, but to have legislation that meets their needs, identifies, connects with them so that they see where the Republicans are, where the Democrats are on that.”
Despite laying out stark contrasts between the competing ideologies, Pelosi also encouraged members of her party to reach across the aisle “if possible” to unify and advance the nation.
“And to do so in a way that tries to have as much common ground as possible, bipartisanship if possible, stand our ground like a rock if not, and to try to unify the country,” she said.
Pelosi called on Democrats to be ready for what she described as a counterattack to a potential partisan offense by Republicans.
“We are not them,” she said. “We do not act the way they do. But I do think that when you’re in the arena and somebody throws a punch, you better able to take a punch and throw a punch.”
As for the party’s chances in Tuesday’s midterms, Pelosi has left herself little room in making a clear prediction that it will once again be in the House majority.
She repeated the phrase “We will win” during a recent appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
The confidence drew consternation from the host, who referenced similar predictions that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential race.
“And how long are the curtains that you’re measuring right now?” Colbert asked Pelosi.
.@NancyPelosi: I say again to some of the commentators who are not on the ground or listening to the ground, we will win. People have to believe that we will win and act upon that belief. I’m confident. #AMJoy #Midterms2018 pic.twitter.com/BoPdsi3hGf
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) November 3, 2018
She expressed a similar confidence days later in an MSNBC interview, declaring that she says “to commentators who are not on the ground or listening to the ground, we will win.”
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