Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) said Democrats who have voiced their opposition to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) becoming speaker of the House are doing so because it is politically expedient.
McAuliffe appeared on MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily" Monday to discuss several issues, including the 2018 midterms and the likelihood of Pelosi again taking the speaker's gavel.
Host Katy Tur displayed a graphic of 51 Democrats opposing Pelosi as House speaker, prompting her to ask McAuliffe to explain why so many Democrats are opposing her if she is so effective.
He responded by attempting to blame Republicans spending millions of dollars against her to explain her unpopularity with some Democrats.
"I think, Katy, it's because literally they have spent millions of dollars through the years attacking her," McAuliffe said. "They don't go after someone who's not successful or not powerful."
Tur pushed back and asked again why the Democrats were "folding" and not supporting her.
"Because millions have been spent negatively attacking Nancy, so it's an easy thing to say. Are you going to vote with Nancy or not vote with Nancy? I'll predict here that Nancy Pelosi, when we win the House—I'll predict that she'll be speaker," McAuliffe said. "I can tell you personally I have had a long relationship. I have known Nancy Pelosi since 1979. She and I have been in the battles for 40 years fighting for the progressive causes that matter to this country and she will be the next speaker."
The national press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Jesse Hunt, slammed Democratic candidates for lying about their opposition to Pelosi becoming speaker.
"Terry McAuliffe is saying what everyone knows, Nancy Pelosi will lead their party if they take control of the House and Democratic candidates are lying through their teeth," Hunt said.
Pelosi, 78, has come under fire from dozens of Democrats, saying that they would not support her for speaker if the Democrats take back control of the House in November. NBC compiled a list of 51 Democratic lawmakers and candidates who have said they would vote against her.
She announced to her Democratic caucus that leadership elections should take place "sometime after Thanksgiving."