House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday said she’s confident she’ll have sufficient support among her colleagues to be chosen as the next speaker of the House in the new Congress.
“I think I’m the best person to go forward, to unify, to negotiate,” Mrs. Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol. “I think my case is about being [the] best person for how we go forward.”
Mrs. Pelosi said she’d rather talk about policy, and that she hopes Democrats and Republicans can work together in the next Congress in certain areas, like infrastructure.
“We will strive for bipartisanship,” she said.
Democrats flipped enough House seats in Tuesday’s midterm elections to retake control of the chamber, while the Senate will remain in GOP hands.
Some Democratic candidates were ambivalent on the campaign trail about whether they would vote for Mrs. Pelosi to be the next speaker if they got elected to the House — including some female candidates.
“What do I say to those women? Congratulations on your election — welcome,” Mrs. Pelosi said.
At a news conference shortly before Mrs. Pelosi spoke, President Trump had positive things to say about her.
“I give her a great deal of credit for what she’s done, and what she’s accomplished,” he said.
He said his tweet from earlier in the day saying Mrs. Pelosi deserved to be chosen as speaker was not sarcastic. Congressional Republicans have been using Mrs. Pelosi as a foil on the campaign trail for years.
“In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats,” the president had tweeted. “If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!”
Mr. Trump told reporters that he thinks he would be able to push her over the top.
Mrs. Pelosi said she doesn’t think anybody deserves anything.
“It’s not about what you have done — it’s what you can do,” she said. “What you have done in the past speaks to your credentials, but it’s about what you can do.”
She touted her skills as a negotiator, saying the only negotiations Democrats haven’t won recently were the ones over the GOP’s tax cuts, which passed without any Democratic support.
Mr. Trump also warned House Democrats against using their new majority to launch investigations into the White House.
Some Democrats have already expressed interest in pushing to flex their muscle to try to force Mr. Trump to release his tax returns.
Mrs. Pelosi said Congress has a constitutional duty to conduct oversight.
“I don’t think we’ll have any scattershot freelancing in terms of this,” she said. “We will have a responsibility to honor our oversight responsibilities, and that’s the path that we will go down.”