Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a new interview said Democrats need better messaging on inflation, which has been top of mind to voters ahead of next month’s midterm elections.
“Inflation’s an issue, but it’s global. It’s global. … What’s [the Republicans’] plan? They ain’t got nothing. When you bring down unemployment, inflation goes up. … So in any case, [President Biden] brought unemployment [down], cut it in half,” Pelosi told Punchbowl News in an interview published Wednesday.
“Inflation is there but it’s global and not as bad as it is in some countries. We’ll have to message it better in the next three weeks ahead. I think we’re in great shape. Other people don’t want to believe that,” she added.
Pelosi’s comments come in the final stretch to the November midterm elections, which have been dominated by topics like the economy and inflation. Inflation has been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, making matters more difficult for consumers at the grocery store and gas pump.
The consumer price index, which measures inflation, rose 0.4 percent in the month of September and 8.2 percent in the past year. For more than a year, inflation has been near a four-decade high.
The economy and inflation have shown to be top issues for voters ahead of next month’s races. A New York Times-Siena College poll conducted this month found that 26 percent of registered voters see the economy as the most important problem facing the country, followed by inflation or the cost of living at 19 percent.
Republicans across the country have largely staked their campaigns on the economy and inflation, trying to make the election a referendum on Biden and Democratic policy in Washington. Democrats, on the other hand, have made abortion a central part of their campaigns after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June.
Republicans’ focus on gas and groceries may be paying off across the country. The Times-Siena poll found Republicans favored over Democrats on the generic ballot, 49 percent to 45 percent. That’s a move from September when Democrats had a one percentage point edge over Republicans.
During an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, Pelosi said “of course, we want to fight inflation,” arguing that consumer prices have ticked up because unemployment has decreased.
Pelosi has also touted the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act when discussing rising prices.
The Speaker, in conversation with Punchbowl News, also touched on Republican use of campaign contributions from GOP dark-money groups, including the Senate Leadership Fund, which is linked to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Those organizations are not required to disclose who their donors are.
Senate Republicans blocked a bill last month that would have required dark money groups to reveal their donors.
Pelosi vowed to pass a bill to alter the way super PACs raise and spend money if Democrats hold their majority in the House.
“We’ll have enough [money]. But our members have much more and [they can buy TV time at a cheaper rate]. I do think that when we win, we have to pass the bill that reduces the impact of that big, dark money because it just chokes and suffocates the airwaves. And that’s what they’re doing with their lies,” the Speaker said.