Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., said Thursday that Nancy Pelosi’s time as a leader of the Democrats is over, as Democrats have been stuck in the minority since 2011, and have had no luck picking off Republican seats in special elections so far this year.
“Nancy Pelosi was a great speaker,” Rice said on MSNBC. “She is a great leader. But her time has come and gone.”
Rice backed Rep. Tim Ryan’s bid to replace Pelosi as leader last year, and thus has long ago decided Pelosi needs to go. But she said the Democrats’ failure to win the open seat in Georgia on Tuesday made it more clear that Democrats need new leadership.
“I sat in a meeting the other day, and I listened to a rationale as to how we should be happy as a caucus because we didn’t lose as badly… two days ago as we did a year ago,” she said. “But we’re still losing.”
Rice dismissed Pelosi’s ability to raise money for Democrats, and said that money isn’t helping Democrats win.
“If money that we are raising through her leadership is not helping us win elections, then we have to have this difficult conversation now,” she said.
She also rejected the idea that by saying this out loud, she is accepting Republican criticism that Pelosi is an “out-of-touch, San Francisco liberal.”
“I do not believe she’s an out-of-touch, San Francisco liberal,” she said. “I believe she is not the leader for the future of the Democratic Party.”
Rice was one of a handful of Democrats who were raising questions about Pelosi’s leadership after Tuesday’s special election. Ryan, who tried to unseat her last year, said the Democrat brand is “toxic” in some areas of the country.