Pelosi seeks to mend fence between her frustrated caucus and Obama

Pelosi used her weekly press briefing to try to shoot down the notion that the White House was anything less than a full and appreciated partner in helping her retain her majority in the House.

She also addressed one lingering frustration within her caucus by stating President Obama would be doing more campaigning for her endangered majority. “More than he has? Certainly,” Pelosi said in response to a direct question.

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“There is absolutely no reason to think that the White House has been anything but cooperative with us in terms of our difficult efforts to retain control of Congress,” Pelosi said.

The comments came two days after Pelosi chastised a White House aide during a Democratic Caucus meeting for White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’s comments that Republicans could win the House this fall.

At that closed-door meeting, Pelosi demanded to know how the White House could claim a better knowledge of the district-by-district breakdown of the electoral map than her own office.

Pelosi and other House Democratic leaders met at the White House on Wednesday night with Obama to discuss the remaining legislative agenda.

“I can tell you first hand that the White House has been very cooperative with us,” Pelosi said.

Gibbs’s remarks stung many House Democrats already deeply frustrated with a White House they see as under-appreciative of their legislative efforts.

Polls that suggest Democrats could be in for a historic drubbing in November’s mid-term election added to the simmering tensions. House members see the White House as more interested in campaigning for senators than for House members.

None of those concerns were aired during Wednesday’s meeting with Obama, Pelosi said.

“Members have some concerns about jobs, and that's the conversation we had yesterday with the president,” she said.

The speaker reiterated her belief that Gibbs’s comment was “unfortunate,” but dismissed the idea it was reflective of a breakdown of any kind between the House and the administration.

“We have no better leader or advocate on behalf of working families,” she said of Obama.

“The comment can be interpreted many ways,” Pelosi said. “I think it was a Rorschach test. But from our standpoint, we're very pleased with what the White House and the president has been doing and with what they're going to continue to do.”

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