Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) explains why she believes it is time for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to relinquish her leadership position. From Thursday's Morning Joe:
JAKE SHERMAN, POLITICO: Congresswoman, who would you put at the top of your party? I mean, a lot of people talk about Pelosi's fund raising prowess, her allies oftentimes say she's criticized because she's a strong woman.
What do you make of those attacks? And who do you think should be the top House Democrat?
RICE: Well, that's not going to be for me to decide, but we have to as a caucus, have this conversation. And -- look, I’m not going to pretend this is an easy conversation to have. It's not easy speaking truth to power.
Nancy Pelosi was a great speaker. She is a great leader. But her time has come and gone. Yes, she's a great fundraiser, but if the money that we are raising with her -- through her leadership is not helping us win elections, then we have to have this difficult conversation now.
BRZEZINSKI: Sam Stein.
SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Congresswoman, Sam Stein here.
Do you think that's unfair to Nancy Pelosi? I mean, basically, what you're adopting is the framework of the conservatives who criticize her? That she's an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal. Do you believe that criticism, yes or no? And if not, why are you adopting it as a rationale for getting new leadership?
RICE: The rationale for getting a new leadership is we are losing and we have been losing since 2010.
STEIN: Yes, but you --
RICE: That's it, OK?
STEIN: Hold on. You said you need new leadership at the top. Presumably you mean someone else to lead the party other than Speaker Pelosi. And the question is, do you believe she's an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal? And if not, why are you adopting the Republican's framework for her?
RICE: I do not believe she's an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal. I believe that she is not the leader for the future of the Democratic Party. It’s that simple.
Do I think it's fair? Do I think it's fair that the Republican playbook over the last four election cycles has been attacking Nancy Pelosi and demonizing her? No. That's not fair. Nor is it accurate.
But guess what? It works. They're winning. So, we have to address that reality.
STEIN: And to address it, you think the best thing to do is just cut the cord? I mean --
RICE: There comes a time in every leader's life when they have to know that it's time to leave and usher in the next generation of leaders. And I personally believe that that time is now.
Look, I thought the time was last November. And I was very vocal about it.
This is not personal. I have enormous respect for Nancy Pelosi, enormous respect. But I want to win. It is not fun being in Washington when you're in the minority.
I think that -- you know, we're about to see the Senate unveil a health care plan that is going to take 24 million people -- it's going to leave 24 million people without health care. It's going to decimate the drug treatment for addicts who are in the middle of the biggest heroin, opioid epidemic that we've ever seen in this country. It's going to increase fivefold premiums for seniors at the time when their costs should be shrinking.
Now, I can sit here and complain about the health care bill that they're going to release today, and I will, but it would be much better and I would be more effective -- we would be more effective as a party if we actually had a seat at the table, and right now, we don't. The way we get a seat at the table is to take back the majority and speak to the American people and protect middle class voters and people all across this country who need to be represented.
Rep. Rice: Pelosi's Leadership Not Taking This Party Where It Needs To Go