House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats face critical 72 hours Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — 'Too late to evacuate' after wildfire debris Greene fined a third time for refusing to wear mask on House floor MORE (D-Calif.) said she finds it "perplexing" that the media has focused so sharply on the future of leadership in the Democratic Caucus leading up to this year's midterms.
“The fate of our nation is at stake in this election,” Pelosi told The New York Times in an article published Thursday.
Dozens of Democratic candidates have either said they oppose Pelosi as party leader or refused to commit their support, and she has been the subject of numerous attack ads from Republicans during this campaign season.
Pelosi told the Times that anyone who hopes to replace her as the party's leader would have to show "a vision for the country" and boast a strong backing within the party.
“What I have always tried to do is build a bridge to the future, and hope that would be in the majority,” Pelosi said. “If people want to be the bridge that I’m building toward, they have to show what’s on the other side of the bridge.”
A number of prominent liberal candidates have in recent weeks expressed uncertainty about her status as party leader moving forward, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Rashida Tlaib in Michigan.
NBC reported last week that at least 50 Democratic candidates wouldn’t back her for the leadership position. Pelosi claimed the network was trying to undermine her chances of retaining her leadership role.
Pelosi, the Democratic leader since 2003, has said on multiple occasions that winning elections and retaking control of the House is worth the cost of enduring attacks on her status as a party leader.
Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third-ranking House Democrat, touted his qualifications to be Speaker in a recent interview, saying he would work to "transform" the Democratic Caucus.
“I think our party needs to be transformed and that’s what I’m talking about,” Clyburn told McClatchy.