Rep. Ben Chandler (Ky.), who won reelection by only 648 votes, said in a recent interview that he blames outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for Democrats' deep defeats in the midterms.

Chandler said the fault also belongs to President Obama, whom he endorsed in 2008.

"If not there, where else does the responsibility lie?" Chandler told McClatchy. "You're talking about the loss of 60 or something seats held by capable public servants. There had to be something going on at a level above them.

"If that isn't the lesson, I don't know what is," he said.

Chandler, a member of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, voted against Pelosi for the position of caucus leader, saying her opponent, Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), was a "better fit" for his district.

"It baffles me that you can suffer the largest defeat since 1938 and still maintain the leadership of your caucus," Chandler said of Pelosi.

"[T]he way she has been portrayed by Republican attack ads against conservative Democrats, is as a San Francisco liberal. That doesn't go over well in my district."