Nancy Pelosi’s bid for House Speaker is facing a challenge from some rebel Democrats who want to see the chamber move in a different direction, but she has support from an unlikely source – President Trump.
Opposition to Pelosi has generated from a group of House Democrats who believe the Minority Leader isn’t far enough left with her political leadership.
Seventeen such Democrats and newly elected members have reportedly signed a letter vowing to vote against Pelosi for Speaker. Such a strong contingent leaves Pelosi with a math problem that could leave her short of the necessary 218 votes she would need to be elected.
Additionally, Marcia Fudge (D-OH) has announced that she is considering a bid to challenge Pelosi.
Without strong Democrat support and a viable challenger on the horizon, Nancy’s bid to regain the gavel could be in peril.
Trump to Pelosi’s rescue?
While she struggles to muster up Democrat support, Nancy Pelosi has received some incredibly high-profile, and very unusual, support.
For the second time, President Trump has announced he would support Pelosi’s bid for speaker, even offering to drum up Republican votes.
I can get Nancy Pelosi as many votes as she wants in order for her to be Speaker of the House. She deserves this victory, she has earned it – but there are those in her party who are trying to take it away. She will win! @TomReedCongress
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2018
The President’s tweet is a follow up to one he sent on November 7th, in which he said she “deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats.”
“If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes,” he added. “She has earned this great honor!”
Many at the time thought Mr. Trump might be using his trademark sarcasm, but this alliance seems all too real this time around.
Trump reiterates his support for Pelosi with reporters
President Trump reiterated with reporters that he likes Pelosi and offered to “perform a wonderful service” by rounding up Republican votes for her candidacy.
“I would help Nancy Pelosi if she needs some votes,” he said. “I like her, can you believe it? I like Nancy Pelosi.”
Trump’s tagging of Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) in his tweet is a wink and a nod to a previous report that the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group that he co-chairs, might be willing to offer Republican votes should Pelosi agree to some changes.
“Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), the other co-chairman of the Problem Solvers, confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday that there are ongoing discussions about having a handful of Republicans supply Pelosi with votes for Speaker if she agrees to rules changes.”https://t.co/VGoOjQm8UB
— Bill Scher (@billscher) November 14, 2018
For her part, Pelosi has said she’s not interested in Republican support.
“Oh, please, no, never, never, never,” she responded when asked if she could count on support from across the aisle, while her spokesman added, she “will win the speakership with Democratic votes.”
What is Trump’s angle?
President Trump’s support of Nancy Pelosi may have you feeling like you’re in the twilight zone, but there may be a method to the madness.
In noting the Problem Solvers Caucus offer of support, a spokesman for Reed said, “The president understands Congress is broken” and “he’s open to voting for anyone who promises to reform the House of Representatives for the American people.”
Could Trump’s support signal a call to his base? Pelosi has been a foil in the past two election cycles by Republicans who correctly portray her as bad news for America. Perhaps having her as the face of the opposition will activate Republican voters come 2020.
And Pelosi, being the seasoned politician she is, will do her best to avoid a government shutdown, something the President has threatened over the ongoing battle for funding of his border wall.