Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) credited Republicans' "Where are the jobs?" refrain in part for Democrats' losses on Tuesday.

Pelosi blamed high jobless figures and the slogan invoked constantly by likely incoming Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerPrinciples to unify America Feehery: A possible House Speaker conundrum for Democrats Obama on bipartisanship: 'There is a way to reach out and not be a sap' MORE (R-Ohio) as an effective weapon against her party, which lost about 60 seats in the House in the midterm elections.

"What made a difference in the election is the fact that they said we are spending money, and where are the jobs?" Pelosi told The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne in his column published Saturday.

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Pelosi in many ways echoed what other Democrats, including President Obama, have said since the election, blaming the high jobless rate and economic anxiety for the party's losses.

"Nine-and-a-half-percent unemployment damaged the majority," she said.

Pelosi announced Friday she had chosen now to stay in Congress and to continue to lead Democrats as their minority leader — if they elect her to that position. Republicans couldn't subdue their excitement in response, because they said they had used the California Democrat successfully against other Democrats on the campaign trail this fall.

Pelosi said the focus had fallen to her, in part, because Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who died in August of 2009, was no longer available as a foil.

"Now they didn't have him. … To some extent they did this with Mrs. Clinton for a while," she said, touting her own effectiveness. "It's why they had to do it. They had to put a stop to me because we were effective in passing healthcare reform," Wall Street reform and student loan reform.