House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that she will support Sen. Bernie Sanders if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination as the Vermont senator builds momentum heading into a crucial slate of primaries.
The establishment of the Democratic Party has been nervous over the self-described democratic socialist’s strong performances in the first three contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. With talk of a potential convention fight over the nomination looming, and senior party figures like James Carville and Rahm Emanuel sounding the alarm, Pelosi sought to pour cold water on rumors of dissension within the Capitol Hill wing of the party.
“Whoever our nominee is we will support, with respect for his or her positions,” Pelosi said when asked about Sanders during a news conference Thursday.
Pelosi’s message was simple: “Unity, unity, unity”
While Pelosi was unwavering in voicing her support for the eventual Democratic nominee, she has otherwise remained on the sidelines of the primary race.
Pelosi had earlier told reporters Wednesday that she is comfortable with Sanders being the Democratic nominee and she isn’t concerned his nomination will cause Democrats to lose the majority.
However, other members of the House do not share Pelosi’s confidence.
Sanders’ recent surge in polls has caused some House Democrats to become weary that Sanders, with his far-left policy proposals, will cost them their seats, as CNN recently reported.
The New York Times reported that some national and state Democratic party leaders are even willing to risk a messy, brokered national convention, potentially damaging to the party, to prevent the Sanders from becoming the nominee.
Rep. Joe Cunningham, a freshman Democrat in a formerly Republican South Carolina district, told a local newspaper that his state “doesn’t want socialism.” Cunningham has not endorsed a candidate in the race.
“If you want to keep the House in Democratic hands, you might want to check with the people who actually turned the House blue — 40 Democrats who are not running on your platform. … They are running away from your platform as fast as they possibly can,” said Buttigieg to Sanders.