Rep. Filemon Vela (D., Texas) said Thursday on Fox News that for Democrats to reclaim the House in 2018, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) must go.
Vela called Pelosi a "loyal leader" who "deserves her due," but said it was clear she should step down.
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"I think that as we look forward to the 2018 general election, as Democrats our goal is to regain the majority, and to regain the majority we need to win swing districts, and in those swing districts, leader Pelosi—she's been a very loyal leader, she has worked very hard, and she deserves her due, but in the context of winning the 2018 election, and taking the majority, I think it is pretty clear that leader Pelosi does not help our candidates in those swing districts that are so necessary for us to win in 2018," Vela said.
Fox News host Melissa Francis pointed out that Vela was using "softer language" than in his Wednesday comments to Politico.
"I think you'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top," Vela had told Politico. "Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that [Jon] Ossoff lost [in Georgia], but she certainly is one of the reasons."
Vela told Francis that he was trying to point out what was needed for the Democrats to win the 2018 elections. He said Pelosi had to have an "honest dialogue with herself."
"What I really think is that leader Pelosi, looking forward to the 2018 election, has to ask herself this question: do I help Democrats win swing districts, which we need to win in 2018, or do I not? And have an honest dialogue with herself. And I think the answer is obvious," Vela said.
"And the answer is obviously she should go?" Francis asked.
"I think that if we are going to win, if we're going to regain the majority in 2018, we have to have new leadership," Vela said.
Vela was one of many disgruntled Democrats who said Pelosi needed to be ousted, or were otherwise critical of party leadership on Wednesday. Their discontent was caused largely by Democrat Jon Ossoff's loss in Georgia's sixth district special election, which marked Democrats' fourth loss in a contested special election since President Donald Trump entered the White House.