Pelosi and other Democratic leaders insisted that they demonstrated important progress by coming in a close second, and have a good shot at taking back the House in next year's midterm elections.
"Look, they demonized Nancy in 2010, they demonized her in 2006". Nor have they identified a challenger.
Pelosi also incorrectly predicted that Democrats were poised to take back the House previous year, leading some of her colleagues to feel that this time around, she needs to deliver. The overall messaging of the Democratic Party - more anti-Trump than pro-solutions - is also being criticized.
"I think you'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top", Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, told Politico. He emphasized that the group "was a diverse group from an ideological, geographic and ethnic standpoint".
The House Democratic leader is seeking to reassure Democrats dejected after a loss in a Georgia special election where the party invested millions of dollars.
Ossoff's campaign by itself outspent every other congressional race in history.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California says in a letter to colleagues Wednesday that when President Donald Trump nominated House members to serve in his administration, he chose them from Republican districts the party knew it could win.
That reality was the subtext for Pelosi's taunting remarks Thursday in which she cast her Democratic critics as hungry for attention rather than serious about ousting her.
"I don't know if there is a solution in the short term", Ryan said. "I love the arena. I thrive on competition, and I welcome the discussion", she said.
But at her weekly press conference, Pelosi shrugged of concerns that she was dragging down the party.More news: Iran's president condemns 'siege' of Qatar by Arab nations
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Despite the backlash from some Democrats, Pelosi still has a strong base of support within the party. Some users on both sides of the political spectrum were in agreement that fresh leadership is needed in the party.
There's also an even more basic reality: Showing that the party will dump its leader if Republicans are persistently negative enough about that leader only gives the GOP more incentive to use aggressive tactics - and puts the next Democratic leader on tepid ground from the outset.
Pelosi added that Republican opponents will always go after the other party's leaders - "and usually they go after the most effective leader".
Rep. Nancy Pelosi in front of Capitol on Thursday.
While Republicans have mocked Pelosi's leadership in the past - the Republican National Committee sarcastically endorsed Pelosi for minority leader a year ago - the party's successful strategy of linking Democratic congressional hopefuls to the unpopular minority leader has caused some Democrats to call for new leadership.
The White House is suggesting that a Republican win in Georgia's special House election on Tuesday was a personal victory for President Donald Trump.
And Pelosi's fundraising prowess? "It's time for Nancy Pelosi to go, and the entire leadership team". Another rising House Democrat, former California Rep. Xavier Becerra, departed the House in late 2016 to accept an appointment as California's attorney general. Second-in-command Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is 78, and number three Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., is 76.
But some rank-and-file House Democrats scoffed at such explanations and raised questions about Pelosi's continued leadership. Pelosi has helped engineer budget deals, an overhaul of the nation's health care law and an economic stimulus during her years as a leader.
"If we take back the House in 2018 then I think she'd stay leader", said Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.