Politics & Government

Trump won on emotional issues, not weak Democratic message, Pelosi says

Pelosi: Democrats must be unified

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said during a briefing that she wrote to her colleagues "to ask for the continued honor of serving as House Democratic leader, to be a strong hardworking families and to uphold the values we cherish as Americans.
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said during a briefing that she wrote to her colleagues "to ask for the continued honor of serving as House Democratic leader, to be a strong hardworking families and to uphold the values we cherish as Americans.

Donald Trump won the election with strong appeals to emotions, particularly on trade issues, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

The California Democrat was asked at a meeting with reporters what lessons Democrats had learned in last month’s election.

Because of controversy over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails, videos showing Trump making lewd remarks about women and other matters, “The Democratic economic message was not coming through,” she said.

“We know who we are,” Pelosi maintained, and noted Clinton did win the popular vote.

Hillary Clinton won 65.7 million votes to Donald Trump’s 62.9 million.

But she noted that Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt., who had a strong challenge to Clinton for the Democratic nomination, and Trump both tapped into voter frustration with trade policy.

“There are certain issues that are emotional,” she said, and trade is one of them.

Adding to the Democrats’ problem was that President Barack Obama supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with Pacific Rim countries. Sanders, Trump and Clinton were opposed.

But, Pelosi said, “It’s the president’s initiative and that’s how it identified with us.”

Going forward, she said, “Should we have a better way to make sure our message is communicated? Yes.” So the party will be working with governors, legislators and others and “We’ll have a common effort as we go forward.”

Then, too, she said, “Republicans will give us plenty of grist for the mill.”

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid

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