Pelosi: 'I Don't Think That People Want a New Direction'

By Susan Jones | December 5, 2016 | 8:14 AM EST

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was elected to an eighth two-year term last week by a vote of 143 to 63. (AP File Photo)

( - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), just elected to an eighth term as House Democratic leader despite the defection of 63 fellow Democrats, was asked on Sunday what she tells Democrats who want a new direction.

"Well, I don't think that people want a new direction. Our values unify us," Pelosi told CBS's "Face the Nation."

"And our values are about supporting America's working families. That's one that everyone is in agreement on. What we want is a better connection of our message to working families in our country.

"And that clearly in the (November) election showed that that message wasn't coming through. But we are united in terms of the security of our country, which is our first responsibility, to be smart and strong and not reckless in how we protect the American people, strong in how we protect our economy."

Host John Dickerson noted that since 2008, "the numbers are ghastly for Democrats." He mentioned the loss of Democratic House, Senate and gubernatorial seats since Barack Obama took office: "The Democrats are getting clobbered at every level over multiple elections. That seems like a real crisis for the party," Dickerson said.

"Well, you're forgetting that we were up 50 seats. We went up so high in 2006 and 2008. And let me just put that in perspective," Pelosi said.

"When President Clinton was elected, Republicans came in big in the next election. When President Bush was president, we came in big in the next election -- in subsequent elections. When President Obama became president, the Republicans came in big in the next election."

Pelosi said she's "optimistic about the strength of the Democratic Party."

"And what I would say, because you talked about these numbers, some reasons to be hopeful, because it's necessary, because this is about policy. It's not about politics. It's about politics for some, but, for us, it's about protecting Medicare, Social Security, good-paying jobs for America's workers, protecting a woman's right to choose, issues that unify us.

"But let me just say this. In any time that a presidential -- the change in president from one party to the next, the states receive an infusion of talent. President Obama going out of the office, sadly, not having President Clinton come in, but those Democrats will go back, run for governor, run for Congress, state legislatures and the rest. And we will build up the numbers that you're talking about there."

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