Pelosi Brushes Off Reports Of Challenges To Her Leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday brushed aside reports that at least two of her fellow House members are quietly considering bids to replace her.

Pelosi told reporters at a press conference that “without asking for a vote,” two-thirds of House members have already told her they back her reelection.

“It almost did me a favor,” Pelosi said of this alleged unprompted swell of support that resulted from Rep. Tim Ryan (R-OH) floating a possible challenge to the press.

“I am respectful of what people are saying,” she noted, pointing to the Democrats’ devastating losses in the 2016 election. “There’s a lot of unease.”

Yet Pelosi said sitting Democrats did not bear “full responsibility” for losing control of the Senate and White House.

CNN’s Manu Raju asked about Ryan saying, of Pelosi’s reelection, “The definition of insanity is to do the “same thing over and over again” and expect different results.

Pelosi said she didn’t want to respond directly, and insisted she would be the best person to help retake the House.

“I’m very proud to have the opportunity, I know how to do it, to get it done,” she said.

CNN reported that a quiet lobbying push has also emerged to prompt Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) to consider challenging Pelosi. Crowley told CNN he’s “listening” to his fellow House members but declined to comment further.

Pelosi agreed to postpone leadership elections scheduled for Thursday until Nov. 30 to allow her rank-and-file members more time to map out the past path forward.