Pelosi: Clinton struggling with white men because of 'guns,' 'gays' and 'God'

Pelosi: Clinton struggling with white men because of 'guns,' 'gays' and 'God'
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Kanye West 'not denying' his campaign seeks to damage Biden MORE can make inroads with white male voters by appealing to their economic needs.

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But the Democratic leader also suggested in an interview Tuesday that Clinton faces an uphill climb because those same voters — drawn in large numbers to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJoe Arpaio loses bid for his old position as sheriff Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Trump tees up executive orders on economy but won't sign yet MORE and the Republicans — are more influenced by hot-button social issues than they are by economic arguments.

"So many times, white — non-college-educated — white males have voted Republican. They voted against their own economic interests because of guns, because of gays, and because of God, the three G's — God being the woman's right to choose," Pelosi told "PBS Newshour."

Pelosi said Clinton can erode Trump's support among white men "with an economic agenda to create jobs — good-paying jobs — [and] increasing paychecks."

"It's about the economy," she said. "You know that statement. It's not a cliche. It's a fact."

Pelosi and the Democrats have long promoted an economic agenda that features provisions like a minimum wage hike, increased infrastructure spending, expanded child-care benefits and broader healthcare coverage — reforms they say would largely benefit middle- and working-class people. They're contrasting those reforms with the Republicans' agenda, which, the Democrats charge, focuses too intently on high-income tax cuts and other benefits exclusive to the wealthy.

Still, Pelosi is also quick to acknowledge that many blue-collar male voters will side with the Republicans, regardless of the Democrats' agenda — or how it would affect certain blocs of voters.

"That is softening," she said, clarifying her own "three Gs" theory. "Some of those people were never going to be voting Democratic anyway. But I believe that, with the turnout that we expect to have, we will draw some of them in with our message, and enough other people to win the election."