Dem lawmaker: 'You'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi'

Dem lawmaker: 'You'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi'
© Greg Nash

A Democratic lawmaker who supported House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during her last leadership challenge now says "you'd have to be an idiot" to believe Democrats can take the House back from Republicans with her leading the party.

Rep. Filemon Vela told Politico on Wednesday that Pelosi's leadership makes a Democratic majority in the lower chamber impossible.

“I think you’d have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top,” Vela said. The two-term Texas Democrat supported Pelosi over Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) during leadership elections at the end of last November.

Vela pointed to Pelosi as a key reason why Jon Ossoff, the Democrat who unsuccessfully ran against Republican Karen Handel in Georgia's special election Tuesday, wasn't able to win despite his efforts to make the election a referendum on President Trump.

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“Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost," Vela told Politico. "But she certainly is one of the reasons.”

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) joined Vela's criticism of Pelosi.

"There comes a time when every leader has to say, 'For the good of the order and for the betterment of the party, it’s time for me to step aside.' And I wish that that would happen right now," Rice said. "This is not a personal thing. I want to get back in the majority."

Ossoff lost Tuesday's special election to Handel, 53 percent 47 percent, in the most expensive House race in American history. Combined, the campaigns spent at least $40 million for the House seat, which was vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.