Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly criticized the centrist group No Labels for their attempt to launch a third-party presidential bid, labeling it as “perilous to our democracy.”
Speaking at a breakfast with reporters hosted by Third Way, a centrist Democratic group, Pelosi expressed her concerns about the potential threat this third-party effort posed to President Joe Biden’s reelection chances.
Pelosi accused No Labels of creating an illusion of non-partisanship and unity while, in reality, undermining the two major political parties.
She joined forces with Jonathan Cowan, the President of Third Way, in their shared belief that No Labels’ objective might be to prevent either major party candidate from securing the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidential election.
In such a scenario, the House of Representatives would decide the winner, potentially opening the door for a last-minute third-party candidate.
No Labels, which has been working to appeal to centrist candidates from both parties, has suggested the possibility of a mixed ticket pairing a Democrat and a Republican as running mates in an effort to unite the nation. Pelosi and Cowan worry that this could lead to a political outcome that disrupts the electoral process.
Larry Hogan, former Republican Governor of Maryland and No Labels’ national co-chair, responded to Pelosi’s criticism by asserting that the group had been working towards bipartisanship and combating extremism for 14 years.
He argued that No Labels challenged partisan agendas, and congressional leaders may not always appreciate that, but it was necessary to represent the common-sense majority.
In a recent press release, No Labels characterized the Trump and Biden campaigns as “a house of cards” and claimed that an increasing number of voters were seeking an alternative to the two major parties.
Pelosi attributed the perceived lack of support for President Biden to the fact that many Americans were not yet fully engaged in the presidential election. However, she expressed confidence that the situation would change as the election season progressed.
Pelosi also expressed her disapproval of independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who began his campaign as a Democrat and gained support in recent polls. She cited his anti-vaccination stance as a significant concern.
Cowan pointed out that third-party candidates often polled well when voters were dissatisfied with both major parties, but they tended to coalesce around a major-party candidate when elections took place.
Pelosi concluded by extending her well wishes to newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, while suggesting he was influenced by former President Trump. When asked about the possibility of an “election denier” succeeding as Speaker, Pelosi noted that the Republicans had wanted Trump in that role, and they got their wish.