In a helicopter interview before departing to California to view wildfire devastation, Donald Trump told reporters that he can get votes for Nancy Pelosi to become House Speaker.
Said Trump: “I like her. Can you believe it? I like Nancy Pelosi. She’s tough and she’s smart, but she deserves to be Speaker. And not they’re playing games with her, just like they’ll be playing with me. It’s called presidential harassment. The president of your country is doing a great job but he’s being harassed. It’s presidential harassment. In a way, her own party is harassing her…certainly they should start off with Nancy Pelosi as speaker, and I’ve got a lot of votes.”
Trump also tweeted: “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!”
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
Roll Call reports: “For Trump, making Pelosi speaker would give him the sense that she owes him legislatively and also ensure that his top campaign-trail foil, who remains intensely unpopular with Republican voters, remains in the headlines through his re-election bid.”
Pelosi has been trying to gather support but is facing opposition from 17 Democrats.
The Washington Post reports: “But process and political concerns aside, there is one thing eight of the nine incoming Democrats publicly opposing Pelosi have in common: centrist and Republican-leaning districts. According to the Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index (PVI), which measures partisanship in districts, the average PVI of the nine freshmen refusing to vote for Pelosi is R+3, leaning Republican. Further, among the 37 seats Democrats flipped in the 2018 midterm elections, 31 are held by members who oppose Pelosi or who continue to dodge questions about the California Democrat. Those 31 seats also have an average PVI of R+3. While Pelosi allies have slammed the incumbent white men challenging her, the greatest threat and greatest uncertainty for Pelosi may be the freshmen she helped elect in districts drawn to favorRepublicans eight years ago.”
The NYT adds: “For Ms. Pelosi, who is making the case for herself in terms of competence and toughness, not gender, the House electoral math is complicated. She is still the odds-on favorite to be speaker and has no credible opponent; many Democrats believe she would easily beat back a challenge from Ms. [Marcia] Fudge, who told The Washington Post on Thursday that she was “overwhelmed” by support as she decided whether to run.”
Pelosi met with Fudge on Friday: ‘Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi met with her potential competition for the speaker’s gavel on Friday, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, who left the meeting still contemplating a bid. “No,” Fudge told reporters when asked if Pelosi asked her not to run. “What she asked me was basically how we could get to a point where I could be supportive.” Asked if such a point exists, even if she opts not to run against Pelosi, Fudge said, “There is a point, yes, but it’s going to take some.”’