(Bloomberg) — 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.