House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded Tuesday to a question about Democratic candidates in competitive races who speak out against her leadership on the campaign trail and won't back her as Speaker of the House.
“If they have to do that to win the election, I’m all for winning,” Pelosi said in an interview with Politico Playbook.
“I’m OK. Just win, baby,” she said, in a reference to a phrase used by former Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis that she misattributed to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
“I have made some very powerful enemies,” she explained. “They don’t say we’re against her because she passed health-care reform, or because she took on Wall Street. They say she’s San Francisco. Yes. She’s liberal. Yes. She’s pro-LGBT. Yes. You will be, too. It’s just a matter of time.”
“I think if they have to do that to win the election, I’m all for winning,” she said of the candidates who disavow her. “I think many of them are saying we need new leadership. I don’t take offense at that.”
Most recently Democratic candidate Conor Lamb disavowed Pelosi and won Pennsylvania’s special election in March.
“I just wanted him to win,” Pelosi said of Lamb at the time. “I don’t think that really had that much impact on the race, he won, if he hadn’t won you might have a question but he won, he won the race.”
However, Pelosi did caution against some sort of model of candidates distancing themselves from her in Congressional races, citing instances where this hasn’t worked out well.
“One candidate in Texas went out and said he would not be for me and he came in fourth, he came in fourth so let’s not read too much in to this,” she said in March.
House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY) recently argued that bringing up Pelosi in Congressional races was “sexist.”