House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told CNN that she intends to remain in her leadership role as long as President Trump is in office. In an interview set to air Monday, Pelosi said “As long as (Trump's) here, I'm here.”
She acknowledged that it’s "up to the caucus" to select her party’s leader and that "it's time for new blood" in the party, but added that given the current political climate she should remain in her role.
"If Hillary Clinton had won, and the Affordable Care Act was protected -- I feel very proprietary about that -- I was happy to go my way," Pelosi told CNN's Christiane Amanpour Friday.
"If the election were held today, we would win overwhelmingly and women would lead the way," she claimed. "We have so many excellent women candidates from women across the country. Women marched and then they ran, and now they're running and now they're going to be members of Congress."
Pelosi also commented on finally making the cover of Time magazine for the first time last week, saying it was “long overdue,” and arguing that the magazine didn’t understand the significance of a woman becoming Speaker of the House when she did so in 2006.
"I don't think too much about it, but I do think that other women did," she said. "It's long overdue. I thought maybe when we passed the Affordable Care Act, expanding health care to so many millions more people and the rest, that that might get their attention, but it didn't."
"But anyway, it's here now and that's nice, but I think a lot of women are thinking, 'Why now? Why did it take so long?' You'd have to ask them," she added.
Pelosi dismissed attacks on her leadership, emphasizing that she can continue to take the heat and assume the speakership if the Democrats take the House in the midterm elections.
"I think it's really important for women to see, because you can't run away from a fight in the arena,” she said, “when the Republicans have such a poverty of ideas that the only thing they can put in their ads is that I'm a San Francisco liberal who supports LGBTQ rights, I can take the heat."
However, Pelosi is not just facing criticism from Republicans. Many in her own party have expressed some criticism of her role and candidates on the campaign trail have been disavowing her in attempts to appear more moderate.
She has responded to this by encouraging Democrats to do what they have to in order to win, including distancing themselves from her. She also downplays criticisms from her colleagues.
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), the fifth-ranking House Democrat, recently called for a “generational change” in the leadership, pointing out that the top three House Democrats, Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Clyburn, are all “of the same generation,” in their late 70s.
Fourth-ranking House Democrat Joe Crowley (NY), also recently declined to back Pelosi for Speaker. His name had been considered as a potential replacement for Pelosi but he was unseated by 28-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in June.