Pelosi brushes off warning House could shift

July 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, is brushing off warnings that her leadership is in jeopardy, but her message of jobs stimulus does not seem to be resonating with voters. ABC7 News spoke with the speaker about that on Monday.

It is the latest in a series of events where the president, Pelosi, and others are coming to pitch the benefits of the stimulus spending in creating jobs. What's new is the growing perception that the message isn't convincing voters, at least not as much as Democratic leaders had hoped.

Pelosi quickly dismissed the White House weekend warning that she could lose her majority in the House.

"Anytime the White House wants to lower expectations that's OK with me," said Pelosi.

Pelosi said Democrats will retain control of the House, even though a growing number of voters believe the Obama administration's stimulus spending hasn't helped.

"Well, let me just say this, absent the stimulus package, we would be in very, very dire straits," said Pelosi.

Pelosi said unemployment is higher now than when the stimulus was passed because the recession turned out to be deeper than anticipated and Republicans' current refusal to extend unemployment benefits and Medicare funding is not helping.

"And it's all because the Republicans in the Senate refuse to support these initiatives," said Pelosi.

Tom Del Beccaro is vice chair of California's Republican Party.

"Look, there was reaching across the aisle on the unemployment extension, the Democrats turned it down because they wouldn't use the stimulus funds," said Del Beccaro.

Del Beccaro says congressional Republicans are concerned about growing the deficit and Democrats don't care.

Still, ABC7's political analyst, Bruce Cain, believes none of that will matter in November. Instead, the Democratic majority in the Senate and House will depend on one overriding issue.

"I think as long as the economy is not doing better and as long as people's expectations are that the economy will not improve, it won't matter how effectively they put their P.R. message out there. The economy will be a big problem in the upcoming election," said Cain.

A new Gallup poll shows just 38 percent of independent voters approve of the job the president's doing. That's down 18 points in the past year.

And while the president isn't on the ballot in November, Democratic lawmakers, particularly in competitive seats, probably wish that he was because without the president, the concern among Democrats is more African-Americans and progressives may not be voting in November.


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