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Pelosi Reveals Her 2020 Fear

The House speaker talks Trump, impeachment, and elections
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2019 12:35 PM CDT
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to the media at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 2, 2019.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Nancy Pelosi doesn't just want President Trump to lose in 2020—she wants him to lose big enough that he can't challenge the outcome. "We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that," she tells the New York Times. Similar thinking consumed her in 2018, when she feared that "if we win [the House] by four seats, by a thousand votes each, he's not going to respect the election," she explains. "He would poison the public mind. He would challenge each of the races; he would say you can’t seat these people." Similarly, she thinks impeachment will look weak with Democrats running only half of Congress. Not to mention that impeachment wouldn't pass the GOP-led Senate. Yet quotes from the Times reveal a politician divided between prudent politics and simmering frustration:

  • "Own the center left, own the mainstream," says the 79-year-old House speaker. "Our passions were for health care, bigger paychecks, cleaner government—a simple message. We did not engage in some of the other exuberances that exist in our party."
  • "When you’re looking at [William] Barr, you just think, 'How could he sell his soul—alleged soul—to Donald Trump,'" she told her whip team Thursday, per notes from a person attending.
  • Pelosi criticized Trump's "lack of knowledge of the subjects at hand" and his "attention span," saying he "degrades" the US and "dishonors" the Founding Fathers.
  • "Maybe he knows that I pray for him," she says of Trump. "I pray that his heart will be open for good things, to help people instead of taking babies out of the arms of their mothers, for example."
Pelosi is also backing the House Judiciary Committee probe of Trump—a procedure much like the Senate Watergate Committee's investigation of President Nixon, notes Fred Wertheimer at NBC News. And we all know how that ended. (Read more Nancy Pelosi stories.)

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