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 ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run 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 TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report 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."