As Pelosi Faces Dissent in Democratic Ranks, President Obama Offers Praise

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., prepares to run for House Minority Leader – and faces dissent among Democratic House members – ABC News asked President Obama at a press conference if he feels the Democratic Party would benefit from new blood and new leadership.

“I think Speaker Pelosi has been an outstanding partner for me,” the president said. “I think (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid has been a terrific partner in moving some very difficult legislation forward. And I'm looking forward to working with the entire leadership team to continue to make progress on the issues that are important to the American people.”

Polls indicate that Pelosi is polarizing, and some Democrats have expressed concern that Democrats lost the House because she pushed an agenda that was too liberal.

Rep. Heath Shuler, D-NC, this week said that he would challenge Pelosi. “It will be very tough,” he said. “It is probably a race we can’t win. But we need a moderate voice in the Democratic Party.”

Even some of Pelosi’s allies in the House have expressed misgivings about her run for House Minority Leader.

“If the Red Sox came in and lost every game of the year and they kept the manager at the end of the year, that’s a problem," Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., told the Boston Globe. “That’s what we seem to be on the verge of doing."

The president said “what we will naturally see is a whole bunch of talented people rise to the top as they promote good ideas that attract the American people when it comes to jobs and investment and how to grow the economy and how to deal with our challenges.”

-Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

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