House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy hopes Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi keeps her leadership role.
“I’m rooting for Nancy,” he told reporters with a laugh Tuesday. “She’s from California — she may have more support in our conference than her own.”
McCarthy cited Pelosi’s plan to keep New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján in place as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as a move that would benefit Republicans.
“If I look at what Nancy wants to do, she wants to keep the same DCCC, if I was there I’d fire everybody at the DCCC,” he said, doubling down on his criticisms about Pelosi during a Washington Post event earlier in the day. “They wasted millions of dollars in places that the couldn’t win and they made you all think they were winning in all these places.”
Democrats were expected to pick up somewhere between 15 and 20 seats, but only managed to gain a handful Nov. 8 in the lower chamber. The results were so devastating to the party, Pelosi was encouraged by her colleagues to delay leadership elections to allow lawmakers to reflect on what went wrong. But despite being challenged for by Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan — who cited her leadership as part of the problem — she continued to support Luján to head the political committee responsible for getting Democrats elected.
“Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – Once again, I plan to nominate Congressman Ben Ray Luján as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,” she wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter Friday. “Ben Ray has always known how, and more importantly, why we fight for a Democratic Majority.”
McCarthy said Pelosi’s record speaks for itself, and noted how Democrats have been on a path of steady decline during the course of her tenure in leadership.
“When you’ve been in the majority with that leadership and you lost the majority, the American public has made their decision on your policies,” he said. “If you keep that same majority and you continue to lose, I believe the American public made their decision.”
McCarthy clarified comments that Democrats have an age problem when it comes to who is leading their party.
“You have an argument with a lot of younger members, and I think they’re losing some people who are very sharp and bright and going other places,” he said, “all I said is their average age of leadership is 76 our is in the 50s — I think that’s a difficulty for them from that standpoint. I don’t have a vote in their leadership, from our perspective I want us to stay in the majority so I think it’s good she stays around.”
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