Pelosi to GOP: Don’t Nationalize Elections

Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:21pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has some advice for House Republicans trying to recapture the majority: Nationalizing elections won’t work.

The top House Democrat suggested Thursday that the GOP needs to rewrite its campaign playbook after the party failed to capture the House seat held by the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.). Mark Critz, a former Murtha aide, bested Republican Tim Burns in Tuesday’s special election.

“What we learned from this election — and I think hopefully the Republicans saw clearly — is nationalizing the election, talking about Speaker Pelosi and President Obama — is not as appealing to the public there as Mark Critz talking to them about their jobs,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference.

House Democrats on edge over the possibility of losing their grip on the chamber were buoyed by their victory in Pennsylvania’s 12th district. The win had special resonance for Pelosi, who counted Murtha among her closest confidants. She said Democrats hung on to the seat by mobilizing their grass roots around a message of job creation. “But it certainly didn’t surprise me, because we had a plan, and we don’t lose primary, uh, specials. But especially we don’t lose a special that was held by Jack Murtha.”

Pelosi administered the oath of office to Critz on the House floor Thursday afternoon to rowdy applause and cheers from the Democratic side of the aisle.