Cedric Richmond Refuses Three Times to Answer if Pelosi Should Stay on as House Democratic Leader

June 23, 2017

Congressional Black Caucus chairman Cedric Richmond (D., La.) qualified his support for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) after being asked repeatedly Friday if he wanted the embattled congresswoman to stay on as House minority leader.

"Morning Joe" co-host Willie Geist asked Richmond about a meeting held by Rep. Kathleen Rice (D., N.Y.) in which Democrats reportedly discussed changing leadership. Richmond characterized the meeting as a "family discussion" that should be kept private, but he did say that they talked about how to get back to a majority and that some called for leadership change.

Once Richmond had to answer directly about his own support for Pelosi, however, he replied vaguely and ultimately deferred to the Congressional Black Caucus members.

"From where you're sitting, congressman, is Nancy Pelosi doing an effective job as leader?" Geist asked.

Richmond responded by praising her work in getting the Affordable Care Act passed through Congress.

"So you support her remaining as leader?" Geist asked.

"I think she's done a great job and her body of work speaks for itself," Richmond said.

"So she should stay then?" Geist asked.

Richmond replied, "We have to figure out a way to get back to the majority, and that is the most crucial point of where we are now."

"So she should stay as leader then, congressman?" Geist asked.

"Well, I am chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and I will do what my membership dictates," Richmond said. "And I think my membership has strong support for Nancy Pelosi."

Pelosi has faced increasing calls from Democratic representatives to step down from her position as the party's House leader after a disappointing loss in Georgia's sixth congressional district race this week. Republicans tied Democrat Jon Ossoff to Pelosi in their advertising en route to a four-point victory for Karen Handel.

Pelosi defended her position in a press conference Thursday by calling herself a "master legislator."

Published under: MSNBC , Nancy Pelosi