Pelosi: Schumer’s ObamaCare remarks ‘beyond comprehension’

Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says fellow Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer’s (N.Y.) recent comments on ObamaCare are "beyond comprehension."

Schumer caused a stir last month when he said Democrats “blew the opportunity the American people gave them” in 2008 by focusing on healthcare out of the gate instead of on measures to boost the middle class. 

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In an interview with The Washington Post published Monday, Pelosi noted that Schumer wrote the 1994 assault weapons ban that was blamed for Democratic losses that year. 

She hit Senate Democrats for distancing themselves from President Obama in the midterm elections, and the party ended up dealing with heavy losses. 

“Some senators even walked away from the president. That, I don’t get,” she said. 

Pelosi said House Democrats found themselves in a nationalized election and were unable to present a distinct message.

“We have to analyze it brutally, honestly, about what works and what doesn’t work, and not assume that there’s going to be some overarching national message that’s repeated and echoed,” Pelosi said. 

She has tasked Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), who ran the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this election cycle, with strengthening the party’s messaging. 

“It’s no use having a conversation unless you have data, unless you have analytics, unless you see what happened,” she said. “I really have an attitude that some may not agree with: You have to know what you’re talking about.” 

Pelosi also defended her move to buck the seniority system by backing her friend Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) to be ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee over Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), who was more senior. 

The move caused tensions among House Democrats, particularly with the Congressional Black Caucus, which has advocated for using seniority to determine committee assignments. 

“If they don’t want to choose the future and they want to be tied to seniority, they can use any excuse they want," Pelosi said. "I will always fight the seniority fight because that is not a path to greatness."

Eshoo ended up losing to Pallone in the Democratic caucus vote, in a blow for Pelosi.

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