A son of former Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill said Wednesday that he fully supports Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to become Speaker in the next Congress, citing she’s the leader Democrats need in the “Year of the Woman.”
Thomas P. O’Neill III told Hill.TV that he thinks it’s “highly ironic” that critics are questioning her leadership following a record number of women winning their congressional races across the country.
At least 124 women will be heading to Congress in January, which he credits in large part to Pelosi’s leadership during the midterm elections.
“I think it’s highly ironic that in the year of the woman, there’s contrast and competition to oust a woman leader,” O’Neill, a Hill contributor, told co-host Buck Sexton on “Rising.”
“What contrasted well is she stands in the face of [Mitch] McConnell and [Kevin] McCarthy from the Republican side of the aisle — all white leadership, all male leadership — I think, again in the Year of the Woman, Nancy Pelosi is the leader that we want,” he said.
The former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, who now leads O’Neill & Associates, a public relations and government affairs firm in Boston, added that that he sees a lot of similarities between Pelosi and his father.
Like Pelosi, he said his father was vilified by the press, but later came back and demonstrated strong leadership for the Democratic Party as a whole.
“When he came back and he became the Speaker of the House, he showed great leadership, great understanding and a great course of progress in the House much as I think Nancy Pelosi is going to do the same thing,” he said.
Sixteen Democrats on Monday signed a letter opposing Pelosi to return as House speaker, arguing that the time has come for new leadership.
But Pelosi remains confident that she will be elected speaker once again, and she appears to be building momentum for her bid. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) endorsed Pelosi on Tuesday, abandoning the idea of challenging her.
— Tess Bonn
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