Speaker Pelosi defends Dem record in reaction to historic loss

Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the record of House Democrats as she offered her first reaction to the lopsided loss of her party’s majority.

“Over the last four years, the Democratic majority in the House took courageous action on behalf of America’s middle class to create jobs and save the country from the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression,” Pelosi said in a statement issued after 1 a.m. Eastern.

“The outcome of the election does not diminish the work we have done for the American people. We must all strive to find common ground to support the middle class, create jobs, reduce the deficit and move our nation forward.”

Pelosi made no reference to her future in the House. Many Democrats expect her to step down from her leadership post, especially given the depth of the party’s losses on Tuesday.

House Democrats look to be on pace to lose more seats than the 52 that Republicans won in the wave election of 1994, which last swept a Democratic majority from the upper chamber. 

She commended one of her top lieutenants and the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), saying he displayed “superb leadership” during the election campaign.