Society

Trump: Pelosi And Schumer Are Good For GOP

| by Robert Fowler
Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer of New YorkDemocrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York

President Donald Trump took to social media to mock the House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York -- both Democrats -- as politically beneficial targets for Republican candidates.

The president's taunt arrives amid a growing chorus among Democrats for Pelosi to step down.

On June 22, Trump took to Twitter to urge House Democrats to keep Pelosi as their leader, asserting that her national profile was an asset to GOP candidates.

"I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out," Trump tweeted. "That would be very bad for the Republican Party - and please let Cryin' Chuck stay!"

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While there has been no clamoring among Democrats for Schumer to step down from his leadership role, several of the party's younger members have been scrutinizing Pelosi's future following the defeat of Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in Georgia's 6th congressional district race on June 20.

Several Democrats noted that GOP operatives had pilloried Ossoff with negative ads tying him to Pelosi. The results of the Georgia race has prompted several House Democrats to wonder aloud if Pelosi has become a liability for the party.

"I think you'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top," Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas told Politico. "Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost. But she certainly is one of the reasons."

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Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi's leadership role in November 2016, agreed that House Minority Leader was a debilitating figurehead for the party.

"I think it's very concerning that that tactic still has some punch," Ryan said of the GOP attack ads linking Ossoff to Pelosi. "Again, it's part of the broader national brand that average people don't feel connected to the Democratic Party."

Rep. Kathleen Rice, a Democrat from New York, has been explicit in her dissatisfaction with Pelosi, openly calling for the House Minority Leader to step down.

"We need leadership change," Rice told CNN. "It's time for Nancy Pelosi to go, and the entire leadership team."

The New York lawmaker warned that following the Georgia race, GOP operatives would continue to attack Democratic candidates by framing them as Pelosi lackeys.

"They tried it once and it worked," Rice said. "It's like the gift that keeps on giving."

Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts shared the same sentiment, stating on June 21: "... It's clear that, I think, across the board in the Democratic Party we need new leadership."

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill fired back on calls for the House Minority Leader to step down, asserting that Republicans would only smear her replacement.

"Republican voters don’t get to select the leaders of the Democratic Party," Hammill said, Politico reports. "Since [Newt] Gingrich, the politics of personal destruction has been a GOP hallmark. They will do this to any and every Democratic leader because the only thing sustaining their majority is desperation."

Pelosi became the leader of House Democrats in 2003. Since then, she has positioned herself as the most successful nonpresidential political fundraiser in U.S. history by raising more than $560 million for the caucus.

On June 22, Pelosi pushed back on calls for her to step down, asserting that she had no intention of retiring.

"I think I'm worth the trouble, quite frankly ... I'm a master legislator," Pelosi said during a press conference on Capitol Hill, according to NBC News. "I am a strategic, politically astute leader. My leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I'm able to attract the support that I do."

Sources: CNNDonald J. Trump/Twitter, NBC News, Politico / Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull/FlickrGlenn Fawcett via U.S. Customs and Border Protection/FlickrMarianique Santos via Defense Video Imagery Distribution System

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