Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) downplayed Democrat candidate Alex Sink's loss to Republican David Jolly in the special election for Florida's 13th District and praised Democrats for continuing to embrace Obamacare.
The closely watched race, said to be a precursor for the upcoming 2014 midterm elections, drew particular interest because Sink belongs to the party responsible for the Obamacare fiasco.
"I'm not only very proud of our House Democrats and how they have helped create it [Obamacare], but how proud they are of it. I think that the Republicans are wasting their time using that as their electoral issue, and they will find out," Pelosi said.
The full exchange is available below:
Q: (Off mic) — given the results of the Florida special election this week, how big of a political weight is the health care on Democrats? And how can other Democrats avoid similar fates in the fall?
REP. PELOSI: I'm very proud of our House Democrats and how they have not only embraced the Affordable Care Act that they helped create it but how proud they are of it. I think that the Republicans are wasting their time using that as their electoral issue, and they will find that out.
I wasn't pleased with the results. I wanted to win, of course. But you have a district that for 58 years has been Republican.
It's a 13-point advantage to the Republicans. We reduced it down to 2 points. And as the speaker would understand, we set ourselves up for the next putt. This is a one-two play here in that district. The fact that it is an off-year election and a — and a — in other words, a nonpresidential year, and a special election — this is like a double whammy in terms of reducing turnout.
But I'm very proud of the effort that was made to get out the vote. I think that our candidate Alex Sink — she's so excellent, so superb. And she said it just right. There are many good things about the Affordable Care Act that are good for the health and well-being of the American people. There are some things that need to be fixed. Let's do that. And that is the message of our members.
So this is, for us, unfortunate — came close, within 2 points. But again, we feel confident about the fuller participation in November and what that will mean for that election.
Q: So Democrats shouldn't shy away from it?
REP. PELOSI: No, absolutely not.