Emanuel Refuses to Say if Pelosi and Schumer Are the Right Leaders for Dems to Retake Congress

August 7, 2017

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D.) on Monday refused to say whether he thought House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) were the right leaders to help Democrats win back majorities in Congress in 2018, saying it wasn't a "good question."

Schumer, Pelosi, and other Democratic leaders rolled out an economic agenda last month called "A Better Deal," which received poor reviews from progressives and media figures.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.) has called for leadership change within the party before the 2018 midterms, saying last month "it's time for a change." Democrats lost the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.

When asked by host Poppy Harlow if he agreed with Moulton's statement, Emanuel did not directly answer but instead said he wanted the party to recruit candidates who best represented their specific districts.

"You're the one who led the effort for Dems to retake Congress in 2006 ... Yes or no answer. Is this leadership, Pelosi-Schumer, the leadership to do that?" Harlow asked.

"Poppy, I really like you. I don't think that's a good question," Emanuel said.

"I know you don't like the question, but yes or no?" she asked again.

"Yes, it's a fine leadership, but what I want is a candidate that's going to be the leader of their district," Emanuel said. "That's what I'm looking for. That's how you recruit candidates that win a majority, because I don't think it's really a question that's relevant. It's a question that's relevant in the Washington corridor."

Emanuel is a heavyweight in Democratic politics. In addition to being a former U.S. congressman and President Barack Obama's first chief of staff, he served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when his party took back the majority in the House of Representatives in 2006.