Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Pelosi Hopeful as Cantor Exits: ‘Whole New Ballgame’ (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pelosi says she’s optimistic after Cantor’s ouster. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pretended to hold a baseball at the microphones on Thursday morning during her weekly press conference, reiterating her characterization of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Tuesday primary defeat as creating “a whole new ballgame.”

The California Democrat said she’s hopeful that the House can tackle issues like an immigration overhaul, despite concerns that Cantor’s departure will drive House Republicans further to the right, making compromise less likely.

“Under the current leadership in the Republican side, we’ve had a shutdown of government, we have not passed immigration, we have not passed the Voting Rights Act which has always been bipartisan,” Pelosi said. “I don’t know how things can get worse than the obstruction that is already here.”

Pelosi refused to speculate about who she would like to see replace Cantor, R-Va., as the House’s majority leader.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is looking to succeed Cantor, and he represents a more establishment position than his current opponent, Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas — though Sessions also could drop out of the race and the conservative candidate could end up being Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho.

“Look, whoever should be the leader of the party is who has the support of their party,” she said. “I myself work with Speaker Boehner. But … I’m always hopeful that we could get back to a place of governance.

“I am the last person to be talking about this,” she emphasized.

Pelosi insisted that she was not “gleeful” in the wake of Cantor’s loss. “It’s hard to lose an election,” she said. “Most of us are here because of policy. We have some understanding of politics, and we all know you keep your home fires burning and the people are the boss. They speak, that’s what really counts.”

“I have as much sympathy for Mr. Cantor that he would want me to have for him,” she concluded.

Sending a ripple of giggles through the crowd of journalists, Pelosi broke into a smile of her own.

“Why are you laughing?” she asked, grinning.


Related stories:

Leadership Shuffle Begins After Cantor Shocker

Stunner: Cantor Loss Changes Everything

Eric Cantor Loses Primary in Massive Upset (Video)

Republican Senate Primary Challengers Jump on Eric Cantor Loss

Eric Cantor’s Defeat Was in the Immigration Tea Leaves

On Immigration, the Pressure Mounts for Eric Cantor

10 Republicans Who Could Be Speaker

Cantor’s Pediatric Research Bill Could Have Been a Bust

Eric Cantor: A Brief Biography

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  • deydey

    “I don’t know how things can get worse than the obstruction that is already here.”

    Nancy, one way is if you ever become speaker again…thankfully not possible at all it appears today…LOL

  • Jazzy

    What do you mean a new ballgame? Every Thursday you tweet to renewui, every Thursday. And you don’t work Fridays, so what is going to be different? Are you going to actual move to renewui, or are all of you just going to keep throwing us a bones.

  • Brenda Huddleston

    Nancy, why don’t you start with all the bills that the house has sent over that NEVER even come to the light of day. Oh, you couldn’t do that because then you couldn’t claim that the Republicans have never done anything. We are so tired of your one sided view of EVERYTHING. All you have to do to get the Unemployment extended is “add in it” a plan to create jobs so it doesn’t have to keep being extended. How hard would that be IF you actually plan to create jobs. How many months has it been that you people have not added that? It is not a priority for you, is it? People want jobs, not lifelong unemployment extensions. You all…both Dems and Repubs have sat back and watched as hard working people have lost everything, had their credit ruined, and it is no fault of their own. It is out of our control, yet we suffer as you in government just keep playing your personal games. How can you sleep at night? This is not a “whole new ballgame”, Nancy. It is the lives of children that you all claim to care so much about. It appears that you care about nothing but your stupid politics and “winning”. No one will win this one!

  • BOB

    now get rid of her and the world will be a happier place….

  • Joe Steel

    We can hope, Ms. Pelosi, but probably not.

    All the Republicans are dedicated to their own partisan interests not the welfare of the American People. No matter who gets the job, he’ll be as bad as the last one.

    • Rumionemore

      Don’t be so partisan. What have the Dems done – really done – to help the American people? The so-called recovery is being felt only by those connected to Wall Street, whose captains have never paid for their wrongdoings. Sixty percent of the jobs created since 2009 are low-wage. No real immigration reform, as more immigrants flood across the borders to be detained, given court papers, then disappear into a community near you. Minorities, especially black people, say they’re worse off than they were a decade ago. If the Dems are the party of the people, they need to get to work. Maybe they need a leader on their side as strong as the ones in the GOP.

      • Joe Steel

        Don’t blame all that on the Democrats. Republican obstruction is the reason.

        • Rumionemore

          There is Republican obstructionism, but that is not the whole story. I don’t recall how Jimmy Carter handled his Congress (obviously, ineptly), but I recall all presidents since him being able to manage their congresses. Obama is the exception. He was fine as long as he had like thinkers, until the 2010 primaries. Bush had basically that same congressional make-up from January 2007 on. Reagan and Clinton had to manage opposites, as did Bush 1, to a lesser extent.

          Obama is an introvert and is passive-aggressive. He had no business being president. He had some white billionaires who backed him, thinking they could manipulate him, pushed Hillary aside and – the rest is history. Why do you think he hasn’t dropped the hammer on Wall Street? The GOP doesn’t want to, either, but Obama is The President. He could if he chose to. He won’t. He lacks courage.

          Moderate Republicans and independents have recognized their leadership needs refreshing. Dems either won’t see they also need this, or they are too humiliated for having elected a lightweight like Obama to admit it. I don’t care for the tea Party, but they have shaken up things. They are focused, know what they believe, and they are smart enough to turn out to vote – including for primaries.

  • Rumionemore

    Ms. Insider Trading Pelosi would be hilarious in her comments if they weren’t so disingenuous and political. Maybe she’s been distracted in counting to make sure her fortune is still intact – all $26 million.

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