Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), the recently unseated fourth-ranking House Democrat, declined to back House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) potential bid for speaker Sunday. He told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that it was “up to the next Congress, Democratic Caucus to decide” if Pelosi should have that spot if the party is able to take back the House in November.
“I do think that that'll be up to the new Congress to decide who the next leader or speaker will be,” Crowley said. “If we win the House back, Nancy will have a very strong case for holding on to the speakership. If not there may be other issues that come to the fore at that point. But it's up to the next Congress, Democratic caucus to decide that fate.”
He did praise Pelosi’s leadership, adding that “when history looks back on Nancy Pelosi they will look at one of the smartest and hardest working speakers and leaders in the history of our country.”
Before his stunning primary loss to 28-year-old Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Crowley was largely viewed as a potential successor to Pelosi.
Crowley also weighed in on whether his loss sent a larger message to Democrats about the direction of their party. He took responsibility for the loss, saying it was due to a “number of factors.”
“This loss is on me,” he said. “I had wonderful volunteers, hundreds of them and a great campaign effort. And just sometimes you come up short. I do think and I want to congratulate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on this effective win. Her campaign was a very effective campaign and she deserves this win but I think there are a number of factors.”
“I think the year of the woman, I think that's a fact that's playing into this and I like that for November,” he continued. “I think that's really good for us as a party. I think the timing of the primary itself not being the normal September back into June it really was an isolated primary in many respects. But as I said before I don't want to take anything away from- from her win.”
In addition to these factors, Crowley acknowledged that he had taken things for granted in his district.
“I have to take the responsibility for that I did not do as I preach,” he said, “I talk about all politics being local. I didn't remind folks of my accomplishments. I didn't take what I had done to help people my district…I didn't talk about helping people in my district and reminding people where I stood. I just took that for granted I think.”
Crowley and Ocasio-Cortez had a brief spat on Twitter last week after she accused him of mounting a third party campaign against her.