Rep. Cleaver: Democrats 'Have No Strategy, and We Have No Plan'

December 1, 2016

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D., Mo.) said during an interview Thursday that House Democrats do not have a strategy or a plan to try to move forward after the 2016 elections.

Cleaver supported Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) in her bid to remain leader of the House Democratic Caucus. Pelosi on Wednesday defeated Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio), who tried to unseat Pelosi from her leadership post in an attempt to change the party's course. Pelosi was reelected over Ryan with a vote of 134-63.

Cleaver told MSNBC's Craig Melvin on Thursday that Democrats would need new leaders but now is not the time to make a shift.

"At the present time, I've got to say, we have no strategy and we have no plan," Cleaver said. "But at least we have some proven leadership that can, you know, take us into what's going to be a new era."

"But think about this, we cannot have as our plan to go to the floor for the next two years only to hit the ceiling," Cleaver continued. "That's not a plan, that's not a strategy, and that would have been pretty much all we would have had if we had changed leaders abruptly."

Cleaver said that House Democrats do need to bring younger people into leadership, adding that otherwise the caucus would face its demise.

"We should bring in young blood, but just not now?" Melvin said seeking clarification.

"Not at this time, not yet," Cleaver said.