One day after U.S. Representive John Yarmuth (D-KY) said that he did not think that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is "the right leader to take us forward," the Louisville Democrat switched course on Friday, endorsing Pelosi's bid to remain the top Democrat in the House, albeit in the minority party.
"Speaker Pelosi has proven time and time again that she is able to build consensus in a caucus comprised of members from all across the ideological spectrum," Yarmuth said in a statement.
On Thursday, however, Yarmuth said that Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer's "sound, moderate approach to problem solving" would make him a better leader for House Democrats going forward.
"I know that there is some thought that Nancy Pelosi may stay around," Yarmuth said Thursday, "As good a leader as she has been, I don't think she's the right leader to take us forward. I think Steny will be a perfect spokesman for the Democratic party in the House and I would support him."
Late Friday afternoon, Yarmuth spokesman Trey Pollard added more clarification to Yarmuth's initial remark, saying that the liberal Louisville Democrat was operating under the presumption that Pelosi would not seek the leadership post and that Hoyer would not challenge her if she did. Pollard said that Yarmuth favors Pelosi over the only other Democrat to express interest in Minority Leader, Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC).
Hoyer, currently the House Majority Leader, consults with Yarmuth on communications strategies, and the Louisville lawmaker says to "expect more of that" as Democrats take on a new role in a Republican Congress.
"I'm on a couple of Steny's advisory committees," Yarmuth continued, "so I would expect to have a significant role in plotting the direction of the Democratic caucus."
( Louisville, KY ) Today, following the news that Nancy Pelosi (CA-8) would seek the position of House Democratic Leader, Congressman John Yarmuth released the following statement:
“Over the course of my four years in Congress, the vote that I am most proud of is electing Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House. Speaker Pelosi has proven time and time again that she is able to build consensus in a caucus comprised of members from all across the ideological spectrum. Her dedication to advancing policies that improve the lives of all Americans is clearly evident in the significant legislative accomplishments that have been achieved with her as Speaker. These decisions, like all I make, are about what is in the best interests of my constituents and the country, about principle and not personalities - and that is why I will support Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic Leader in the 112th Congress.”