“Today we are very close to one year from last year’s election and one year from next year’s election,” said Pelosi, who was in Rhode Island for a Jamestown fundraiser on Sunday and then a stop at the Community College of Rhode Island on Monday. “We think with the President where he is in the polls that the door is open for a great Democratic victory. That’s what we want to talk about, and not somebody’s book.”
But many progressives find a cautionary tale in Brazile’s new book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.” It details some ways in which the Democratic National Committee not only gave preferential treatment to the Hillary Clinton, but also was mostly funded by her campaign. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said the book shows the primary was rigged for Clinton.
Pelosi, who took questions from local reporters mostly on the GOP tax plan after visiting the CCRI advanced manufacturing facility, seemed to take some umbrage that the progressive left still wants to litigate the 2016 election.
“They can talk about it, I’m not going to say any more about it,” she said of Brazile’s book. “I have been a progressive longer than some of these people have been alive,” said the 77-year-old Congresswoman who has represented the San Francisco Bay Area since 1987.
Instead she tacked to superdelegates, the un-elected members of state Democratic parties that are allowed to vote independently for the party’s presidential nominee, which Pelosi said she has opposed for 30 years.
“I’m hoping we can reduce the number of superdelegates,” Pelosi said. “That doesn’t make me very popular among the superdelegates, but none-the-less I’ve always been against it because you can’t say go have your election but we’ll decide it in Washington D.C.”
She said Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez is working on a review of the party’s practices, known as the Unity Reform Commission, and she hopes the review leads to a reduction in the number of superdelegates.
Superdelegates are Democratic Party leaders who get to cast an independent vote for the party’s presidential candidate, regardless of whom regular delegates are bound to vote for at the convention based on the state primary.
Bernie Sanders supporters shined a spotlight on superdelegates as an undemocratic way of circumventing the will of the people. In the 2016 primary, Clinton won 2,220 delegate votes, including 591 superdelegates, while Sanders took 1,831, with only 48 superdelegates, according to the New York Times.
Rhode Island has nine superdelegates: Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, Governor Gina Raimondo, and Democratic Party officers Joe McNamara, Grace Diaz, Edna O’Neill Mattson, and Frank Montanaro all voted for Clinton in 2016. Since the election, Montanaro, a former head of the AFL-CIO, passed away and was replaced by Joe Paolino.
Pelosi made similar comments about superdelegates when asked about Brazille’s book on CNN Sunday. She has previously gone on record in her opposition to superdelegates.
Pelosi’s grandparents met in Pawtucket. They were Italian immigrants who eventually settled in Maryland, she told reporters after Congressman Jim Langevin announced her local ties. She called Rhode Island “small enough to be resilient but big enough to be significant.”
The GOP tax plan is “not reconcilable,” she said, noting she hopes 24 Republicans agree with her – the number it would take to kill the bill in the House. She described it as a “gift” to major Republican donors.
Speaking about California Republicans who support the tax cuts, she said, “They are royally ripping off their constituents.”