Pelosi Says Decision To Run Again For Speaker Will Depend On Family And Democratic Party

"The speaker has awesome power, but I will always have influence," the California Democrat said as control over the House remains up in the air.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on Sunday about her future as the chamber’s top official, saying that any decision she makes about running again for the position will depend on what her family and fellow House Democrats want.

The question about Pelosi’s future as speaker comes as control over the House remains up in the air, with several races still yet to be called. With Democrats performing better than the party in power historically has during midterm elections, the House is looking at an extremely slim majority that could either go for the GOP or remain in Democrats’ hands.

“We will see when the people have finished speaking and the votes have been counted as cast. I’m very proud of our Democratic candidates, both the incumbents seeking reelection, and our red-to-blue, our challengers. They never took any guidance from those who would say, ‘This is over, Democrats can’t win because history says,’” Pelosi told Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“[Democratic candidates] knew their purpose. They knew why they were running: to protect our democracy, save our planet, protect our values and the rest … They knew their districts. They related to their constituents, and they have produced a great result,” she continued. “Who would have thought two months ago that this red wave would turn into a little tiny trickle, if that at all?”

Pelosi would not say whether she thinks House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy should be speaker should Democrats lose their majority. But when pressed about McCarthy’s qualifications, the speaker told Bash that the Republican leader is not up to the task.

“Well, why would I make a judgment about something that may or may not ever happen?” Pelosi said of McCarthy’s potential speakership. “No, I don’t think he has it. But that’s up to his own people to make a decision as to how they want to be led or otherwise.”

The Nov. 8 election took place almost two weeks after a man broke into Pelosi’s home in San Francisco looking to assault her, and severely injured her 82-year-old husband who required surgery for his fractures. A federal grand jury indicted 42-year-old David DePape on charges of assault and attempted kidnapping.

The speaker said on Sunday that her husband is slowly on the road to recovery, but that he is “paying the price” for the political violence being stoked and enabled by the right. Pelosi added that the public was not just shocked at the attack itself, but also at Republicans’ “ridiculous, disrespectful attitude” toward the attack.

In an interview she gave to CNN’s Anderson Cooper one day before the election, Pelosi said the attack on her husband would impact her decision on whether to retire at the end of her current term. When speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, the Democrat maintained that she would remain in Congress but will decide on whether to again pursue the speakership once all the votes are counted.

“The fact is, any decision to run is about family and also my colleagues. And what we want to do is go forward in a very unified way, as we go forward to prepare for the Congress at hand and then, after some respite, get ready for the next election,” she told CNN. “But nonetheless a great deal is at stake, because we will be in a presidential election.”

“So, my decision will then be rooted in the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus. But none of it will be very much considered until we see what the outcome of all of this is,” she continued. “But there are all kinds of ways to exert influence. The speaker has awesome power, but I will always have influence.”

The leadership elections are scheduled for Nov. 30. Pelosi said that she plans to announce her decision about whether to seek reelection as speaker before that date.

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