Nancy Pelosi Says Democracy Is on the Line During Midterms But Isn’t Worried
00:21 GMT 30.03.2022 (Updated: 03:33 GMT 30.03.2022)
The party that controls the White House historically loses seats in Congress in the midterms, but that does not concern Nancy Pelosi, even as she states that democracy itself is at risk.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that American democracy itself is on the ballot and fears for its future if Democrats lose control of Congress in the upcoming midterms.
In an interview on Monday with Time’s Molly Ball during a celebration of the Toner Prize for Political Reporting, Pelosi stated that it is “absolutely essential for our democracy that we win. I fear for our democracy if Republicans ever get the gavel. Democracy is on the ballot in November.”
Democrats are expected to lose some seats in November. Typically, the party that controls the White House loses seats in midterm elections. Adding to the troubles for the Democrats is President Biden’s cratering poll numbers. A recent Harvard CAPS-Harris poll found that only 39% of voters approve of Biden’s job performance.
None of that worries Speaker Pelosi. “I don’t have any intention of the Democrats losing Congress in November,” the speaker said. “We do have a plan, we have a vision of victory. We have a plan to get it done. We are going to own the ground.”
Pelosi dismissed as outdated the conventional wisdom which suggests that the sitting president’s party typically struggles in the midterms. “There’s nothing conventional anymore, because of the way people communicate with social media and how they receive their information, how they are called to action, how they’re called to meetings and the rest is quite different. So any past assumptions about elections are obsolete.”
She bizarrely pointed to the Democrats' performance in previous midterm elections while a Republican was in the White House in order to bolster her point.
“When we won in ‘06 we didn’t have a Democratic president in the White House. We had our own message and we won. In ‘18 we didn’t have a Democratic president in the White House, capital ‘D’ or small ‘d’ and we won the Congress.”
She also does not think that Biden is as unpopular as polls seem to indicate. When asked if she thought any Democratic members of Congress up for election would distance themselves from Biden, she rejected the idea forcefully. “Absolutely, positively not. This is a great president. With all due respect to polling, we intend to turn out the vote. [...] No one is going to be rejecting the president.”
In fact, Pelosi believes Biden will be an asset to Democrats in the midterm elections. “This time we do have a great president with a great vision for America. [...] As we get closer to the campaign season, we will be working with the president on our message of empathy, progress and hope for the American people as well as the excellence of our members of Congress.”
Pelosi also had some choice words for former President Trump in the interview, stating that she did not think America’s democracy would have survived a second term and could not survive another term if Trump runs in 2024.
“The country could withstand one term of the former president. I don’t think it is strong enough to survive two terms of office of the former president for his assault on democracy, on the press, on truth, on facts and using the office of the White House as a force of misrepresentation.”
Trump is currently leading both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in a hypothetical presidential election, according to a Harvard CAPS-Harris poll.