Pelosi delivered her remarks at a breakfast event organized by the Democratic-centrist group Third Way, which has taken on the role of one of No Labels’ chief antagonists this cycle.
Pelosi launches an all-out attack against No Labels
The former House speaker became the most high-profile Democrat to oppose the organization’s bid.
Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi on Thursday became one of the highest-profile elected Democrats to go public with her concerns about the centrist group No Labels’ third-party presidential bid.
“No Labels is perilous to our democracy,” she told reporters. “I hesitate to say No Labels because they do have labels. They’re called no taxes for the rich. No child tax credit for children. They’re called let’s undo the Affordable Care Act.”
Pelosi said she has ignored No Labels, even when she was a target of the group as speaker of the House, but 2024’s election is a different case.
“When they jeopardize the reelection of Joe Biden as president of the United States, I can no longer remain silent on that,” she said.
No Labels national co-chair, former Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.), said in a statement it was “disheartening to see Nancy Pelosi literally make things up about No Labels to score political points. She ascribes positions to No Labels that they never took.”
The nonprofit is seeking access to the ballot across the country with the idea of putting together a unity ticket that would be led by one Republican and one Democrat. The group, which is currently formulated as a nonprofit that does not have to disclose its donors, has not yet announced who would lead such a ticket.
The latest memo from No Labels states that there’s an unprecedented appetite for a third-party or independent candidate this election cycle, partly because President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the likely candidates for both major parties, have low favorability ratings.
Pelosi disputed the premise of the group’s bid and said that once Biden is more frequently on the campaign trail voters will return to the fold.
Third Way President Jonathan Cowan added that early interest in third-party candidates is a way for people to express their discontent. But he said he suspected interest in No Labels and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running as an independent, would drop in popularity as next year’s general election campaign gets underway.
At the heart of Third Way and Pelosi’s concern about No Labels is that a moderately successful third-party candidate could win enough electoral college votes so that neither major party nominee wins the majority required to secure the presidency. Under this scenario, the outcome of the presidential election would be determined by congressional delegations voting for the president, of which Republicans control more than Democrats.