Pelosi Warns Dems “Medicare for All” May Not Play Out Well in Key Midwestern States

Speaker Pelosi is openly worried that the progressive wing of the Democrat party has gone too far and may alienate key swing voters in 2020.

“What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan” Pelosi told reporters Friday.

Pelosi also singled out “Medicare for All,” which has become the hallmark of Bernie and Warren’s campaigns as policies that may not play out well in midwestern states.

Pelosi took over the role of Speaker of the House when Democrats took over the House  majority in the 2018 midterm elections.

Bloomberg reports Speaker Nancy Pelosi is issuing a pointed message to Democrats running for president in 2020: Those liberal ideas that fire up the party’s base are a big loser when it comes to beating President Donald Trump.

Proposals pushed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders like Medicare for All and a wealth tax play well in liberal enclaves like her own district in San Francisco but won’t sell in the Midwestern states that sent Trump to the White House in 2016, she said.

“What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan,” Pelosi said at a roundtable of Bloomberg News reporters and editors on Friday. “What works in Michigan works in San Francisco — talking about workers’ rights and sharing prosperity.”

“Remember November,” she said. “You must win the Electoral College.”

Pelosi was careful not to back any one candidate in the party’s contentious presidential contest, but didn’t hold back when asked about which ideas should – and shouldn’t – form the party’s case to American voters. Or about her fears that candidates like Warren and Sanders are going down the wrong track by courting only fellow progressives – and not the middle-of-the-road voters Democrats need to win back from Trump.

This is familiar ground for Pelosi, who has spent the year tussling with the “Squad,” a vanguard of liberal newcomers to the House led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

“As a left-wing San Francisco liberal I can say to these people: What are you thinking?” Pelosi said. “You can ask the left — they’re unhappy with me for not being a socialist.”

Her call for caution is backed by the authority she carries as a giant of Democratic politics who rose from the left wing of the party to become the first female speaker of the House and has earned grudging praise from her foes for her skill as a legislator.

She spoke as polls show a significant tightening of the race with Warren edging up on Joe Biden at the top of the field. A New York Times/Siena College survey of Iowa Democrats released Friday showed the top four candidates — Warren, Sanders, Biden and Pete Buttigieg — all bunched up in a five-point spread at the top of the field.

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