Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Thursday that he believes the odds are “two out of three” that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will become Speaker following November’s midterm elections, despite some opposition from within her own party.
“I would say, first of all, Nancy Pelosi is a very smart, very tough person who has earned her position by just brute hard work, by applying her intelligence and by applying a network that has sustained her for a long time,” Gingrich said during a Washington Post Live event.
“Anybody who thinks they’re going to outmaneuver her is up against somebody who has spent literally her lifetime… she’s been in this business forever,” he added.
Gingrich, a former Speaker himself, set the odds at “two out of three” that Pelosi will be speaker in the next session of Congress, and “one out of three” that the job will be filled by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R-Calif.).
Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty, who moderated the panel, noted that several Democratic candidates across the country have attempted to distance themselves from Pelosi during the campaign cycle or outright said they would rather see a new face at the party’s helm.
Pelosi, who has said she supports candidates doing what they have to do to win elections, has recently suggested she could serve as a “transitional” figure in the role.
Gingrich added that Pelosi’s efforts to campaign and fundraise for Democrats across the country may help boost her chances at becoming Speaker.
“Who’s going to get up and say she doesn’t have any right to be Speaker?” Gingrich said. “So my guess is if they win, then she’ll be Speaker.”
Gingrich — who served as Speaker from 1995 until his resignation in 1999 amid ethics scandals and poor Republican performance in the previous elections — said at an Axios event earlier Thursday that he thinks Republicans will “probably” hold onto the House, but acknowledged there’s a chance Democrats reclaim the majority in the lower chamber.
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