White House press secretary Robert Gibbs described his relationship with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as "cordial" Wednesday after she expressed frustration over his comment that Democrats could lose control of the House.
Gibbs said on NBC's "Meet the Press" this weekend that there is "no doubt" Republicans could retake the House this fall for the first time since 2006. That sparked several House Democrats to complain the White House has not done enough to help them retain their majority.
Asked to react to Pelosi's confrontation of a White House aide Tuesday about his comments, Gibbs said that her opinion matters to him.
"Of course the opinion of the Speaker of the House matters to me," he said. It matters to Democrats throughout this country."
Gibbs said he has not spoken to Pelosi since Tuesday but would welcome the opportunity to do so. He added that he has not seen the reports of what she said.
His comments have sparked a political firestorm in Washington. Some Republicans have appeared to be emboldened by the statement, while Democrats have doubled down on their commitment to hold the House and have painted it as an attempt to define the choice voters will face in the fall.
House Democratic leaders, including Pelosi, are heading to the White House in the late afternoon Tuesday to discuss their legislative agenda for the weeks leading up to the August recess. Members are also expected to vent their frustrations about Gibbs's comments on midterm strategy.
Gibbs praised Pelosi, saying, "The work that the House and the speaker have done over the past 18 months in making tough choices and making tough votes and in passing the agenda of this president have — have been monumental."
He repeated his claim made throughout this week that Democrats will hold their congressional majorities.
"There are a whole host of issues that will be worked on in the next couple weeks that will highlight the choices that voters will have," he said. "And I think — I think in that choice, we are going to do very well. And I have said throughout this, I think we will retain the House and the Senate."