Pelosi on 2012: This time, Republicans are the incumbents

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
CBS
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence on Sunday that her party would make a comeback in the 2012 elections, reminding CNN's Candy Crowley that "the Republicans are the incumbents" this time around.

In an interview with CNN, Pelosi took shots at the Republican budget plan for 2012, and posited that the proposal, which she described as "the gift that keeps on giving," would spell trouble for the GOP in the upcoming presidential elections.

"When the ... unemployment rate is high, it's hard for the incumbent to win," Pelosi said. "I remind you though, we're not the incumbent. The Republicans are the incumbent."

Playing on a recent backlash against the GOP budget proposal's controversial plan for Medicare, which would essentially turn it from a government-run program into what most people would call a voucher system, Pelosi suggested that Democrats would continue to capitalize on discontent over the idea in the coming months.

"Their budget is the gift that keeps on giving, sadly," Pelosi continued, of the plan. "Politically it does, sadly for the American people. It's a bitter pill... They vote where they believe. And they do not believe in Medicare and Social Security." 

Pelosi, who turned over the Speaker's gavel to Ohio Republican John Boehner as a result of the Republican House takeover in 2010, has begun the drive to retake the House in 2012 - and has lately been defending her four-years running the House of Representatives.

She maintains that, despite past criticism from the right - and even some moderate members of her own party - she did the job she set out to do.

"If I were not effective, if I hadn't passed health care and Wall Street [regulatory overhaul] and the rest, I would not have been the target that I was," she told the Washington Post in a Sunday interview. "I came here to do a job. I didn't come here to keep a job."

The California Democrat also disputed claims of tension between herself and the Obama administration.

"I have absolutely no problem with my relations with the White House," she said. "I have complete access on any subject that I want to talk to them about. I understand why they have to do certain things, and they understand why I have to do certain things. We give each other room."

Meanwhile, the resilient Democrat plans to wage a tough battle to win back the House in 2012.

"I feel comfortable about our ability to win it back," she told the Post. "I have a sense of responsibility to win it back, a plan to do so, and a confidence that it is very much possible to do so.

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