Rep. Tim Ryan says he has not “closed the door” on a challenge to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi post-midterms while also talking up the bonafides of current No. 3 Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, the Washington Examiner reported.
The Ohio Democrat, who has already failed once to unseat Pelosi, told the Examiner he wouldn’t challenge the California moneymaker unless he thought he could win.
“We’ve not closed the door on the leader race,” Ryan told the Examiner. “I’m not going to do it just to do it.”
However, he also laid out a scenario where he ran against her and neither had enough votes for leader of the caucus, opening the door for Clyburn.
Clyburn has said he wouldn’t challenge Pelosi unless she didn’t have the votes, much like Rep. Steve Scalise on the Republican side with the candidacy of Rep. Kevin McCarthy to replace Speaker Paul Ryan.
“If anybody is going to be the bridge, it’s going to be Jim Clyburn,” Ryan told the Examiner, seizing on Pelosi’s “bridge to the future” comments about the party, part of her self-serving PR blitz to shut down challenges before they germinate.
“Jim brings change. He brings the African-American voter to the third highest position in the country,” Ryan told the Examiner. “That’s kind of what we need: He’s going to make history, he’s going to energize our core constituency.”
The friction ahead of the midterms puts on display a Democratic caucus that is tiring of Pelosi but wallows in the tens of millions of dollars she raises for members.
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