House

Pelosi: Democrats will 'certainly' beat Trump in 2020

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is voicing optimism about Democrats' chances heading into the 2020 elections, predicting Tuesday that the party will keep the House, retake the presidency and "hopefully" flip the Senate.

Speaking with CNBC's Jim Cramer, Pelosi said that if her forecasts come to fruition, Democrats would have majorities in 2021 to shore up the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which President Trump and GOP leaders have fought for years to dismantle.

"When we win - I anticipate that we will win the House and hopefully win the Senate and certainly win the White House - but in the course of all of that, let's use our energy to have health care for all Americans," Pelosi said in the interview that aired Tuesday evening.

The comments came on the same day Rep. Paul Cook, a four-term California Republican, announced that he'll retire at the end of next year, making him at least the 17th GOP lawmaker to rule out a return to Congress in 2021.

The growing list of GOP retirements and resignations has complicated the Republicans' bid to retake the lower chamber, which they lost in last year's midterms, and suggests that even some GOP lawmakers consider the gavel out of reach.

Pelosi's other predictions are much less certain. While Senate Republicans are defending 23 seats in 2020 - versus just 12 for Democrats - very few of those GOP lawmakers are considered vulnerable, creating an uphill climb for Democrats hoping to flip the upper chamber.

The presidential race is also nebulous. Trump's approval rating has continued to hover underwater, but a long list of Democratic hopefuls continue to slug it out on the primary trail.

Pelosi has praised each of the Democratic contenders while emphasizing that she doesn't agree with everyone's policy prescriptions.

On Tuesday, she reiterated her opposition to those pushing for a "Medicare for All" health care system, for instance, touting the benefits contained in the ACA, which she had helped usher through Congress under then-President Obama.

"With all the respect in the world for all of our presidential candidates - and I think any one of them would be a better president of the United States in terms of integrity, et cetera - I do not support some of the policies that are being advocated," Pelosi said.

Pelosi also used the interview to question Trump's approach to China's abusive trade practices. The Speaker said she supports the notion of confronting China on the issue but warned against policies that harm American farmers and consumers, which critics have criticized Trump's tariffs for doing.

"They cannot be ignored. But they cannot continue to violate our trade relationship," Pelosi said of Beijing. "I think the president had to do something about it. I'm not sure he went the right way. I think we should have done it multilaterally with the [European Union] and the rest."

"Whatever path you want to take to improve a trade relationship," she added, "do not empower the other side to hurt your farmers and your consumers."

Outbrain