‘No Substitute For Experience’: Pelosi Downplays Vulnerable Democrats Calling For A Leadership Change

‘No Substitute For Experience’: Pelosi Downplays Vulnerable Democrats Calling For A Leadership Change

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) downplayed members of her own party calling for new leadership.

In an interview with MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” Tuesday, Pelosi downplayed several calls made by House Democrats in closely contested districts calling for new leadership in the House. The speaker said she was not worried about their rhetoric if that’s what it takes for them to win their respective races. But Pelosi attempted to play both sides, saying that generational change is necessary, but experience is also important.

“I say just win, baby. Just win,” Pelosi said. “If that’s what you have to say to win, fine, and we will not in any way do anything but totally support [you] — mobilization-wise, message-wise, money-wise — for those people to win their races. Yes, we need generational change. Of course we do. But in some cases there’s no substitute for experience.”

“If they’re after us — look, just win, that’s all I’m saying to people,” Pelosi continued. “Just win your races, because nothing less is at stake than our democracy, nothing less is at stake than our planet, nothing less is at stake than our freedoms, a woman’s right to choose … there’s so many things at stake in this election.”

“These are very valued members of Congress,” Pelosi said of the members. “We respect them for what they believe and what they do, we want them to be re-elected. I don’t have any problem with anybody criticizing me.”

The speaker’s comments came in response to Democratic Michigan congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, who called for new leadership in an interview last week. “I have been very vocal, including with my own leadership in the House, that we need a new generation and we need new blood, period, across the Democratic Party, in the House, the Senate, and the White House,” Slotkin said, adding, “I think that the country has been saying that.”

Slotkin also recounted how she was part of a small group of Democrats who refused to vote for Pelosi for Speaker when Democrats took the House in 2018, and stood by that decision. “I would love to see new leaders. I would love to see some midwestern leaders in there, right? That’s been important to me, is, reflect the middle of the country, we’re here, too. But, I do think new blood is a good thing.”

Slotkin’s comments followed a previous call for new leadership by Virginia Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger. Spanberger, who is running in a close race in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, unloaded on Democratic leadership after they stalled a bipartisan effort to ban members of Congress from trading stocks. “This moment marks a failure of House leadership — and it’s yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known,” Spanberger said in a statement after the bill was put on hold until after the midterm election.

Other Democrats have issued similar calls for new blood in the party, specifically as it relates to President Joe Biden running for re-election in 2024. Democratic Minnesota Reps. Dean Phillips and Angie Craig both called for new leadership and said they would not support Biden running in 2024; Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who is running for Senate in Ohio, also called for “new leadership across the board” among Democrats and Republicans alike.