Speaking to CNBC on Saturday, he described what he felt would galvanize Republicans to throw more support behind the president.
“Politically this does benefit the president,” Spicer told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the annual Doha Forum in Qatar. “Obviously as a Republican I was sad to lose the House, but the reality is that this gives us something to run against.”
In late November, the House Democratic caucus voted 203 to 32 to nominate Pelosi as Speaker of the House, a position she first held from 2007 to 2011. Over the California native’s tenure as both House minority leader and Speaker, many have come to see her as a divisive lightning rod within the party. Several members of Pelosi’s caucus pledged not to support her latest bid.
Pelosi still needs to win the support of more that a dozen Democratic dissenters before a January 3 floor vote where she’ll need to win the majority of the whole House — not just Democrats.
Republicans frequently paint Pelosi as a top adversary of their agenda and a boogeyman of sorts, and often attaching their Democratic opponents to her as a campaign tactic. President Donald Trump has accused the lawmaker as having an “extreme job-killing agenda”, among other things.
“This really juxtaposes that idea of the binary choice that exists within elections,” Spicer said. “If you want the agenda that delivered 3-plus percent economic growth quarter after quarter, lower unemployment, the take down of the regulatory state, then you need to vote Republican and for the president’s policies to continue,” he told CNBC.
“I think Nancy Pelosi is going to show the American people what it’s all about, which is investigation after investigation and a lot more big government that won’t go anywhere,” the former Trump administration official added.
Pelosi, meanwhile, said in her November victory speech that the midterm election result was about “what a new Democratic majority will mean in the lives of hardworking Americans” and that “Democrats pledge a Congress that works for the people.”
The 78-year old legislator pledged to “restore the constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration,” and stop what she called the GOP’s “assaults” on entitlements like Medicaid and Medicare, as well as the Affordable Care Act.
On the notion of potential moves toward impeachment, however, Pelosi has been cautious. “That’s not what our caucus is about,” she told PBS in a November interview, adding that any such effort “would have to be bipartisan and the evidence would have to be so conclusive.”
Congressional Democrats have made clear their aims to support the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and suspected Trump campaign collusion with the Russians.
They’ve also pledged to investigate Trump’s purported conflicts of interest, and press him to release his tax returns. The latter is a longtime presidential norm that Trump has declined to follow, though it’s not legally required of him.
Trump himself may agree with Spicer. In a tweet last summer, the president sarcastically encouraged Democrats to support the minority leader.
“Democrats, please do not distance yourselves from Nancy Pelosi,” Trump wrote in August. “She is a wonderful person whose ideas and policies may be bad, but who should definitely be given a 4th chance. She is trying very hard and has every right to take down the Democrat Party if she has veered too far left!”