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Heath Shuler May Challenge Pelosi for Speaker

4 years ago
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Rep. Heath Shuler, a conservative Democrat from North Carolina, said Wednesday that he would run against Nancy Pelosi to be speaker of the House if no other Democrat steps forward -- presuming, of course, that his party retains control of the House in the midterm elections.

His comments came in a WWNC radio debate with his Republican opponent, Jeff Miller, and were first reported by the Asheville Citizen-Times.

During the debate, Shuler said, "If there is no viable alternative [to Pelosi], I will be running for speaker of the house."

Later, Miller pressed the congressman for details. "You're saying you would not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker?" Miller said.


"If that's the alternative, I will be voting for myself," Shuler answered.


"If she's there, you wouldn't vote for her? You'd vote for yourself?" Miller clarified.

Heath ShulerShuler replied, "I don't know how I can be any clearer. I can do as good a job as anybody in the U.S. Congress, because I can actually bring people together."

Despite Shuler's best efforts, Pelosi has been a central theme of his campaign to defend his House seat. Miller, along with the NRCC, ran an ad against Shuler tying him to Pelosi and accusing him of "giving the arsonist a book of matches." Shuler responded with his own commercial, saying, "I'm not Nancy Pelosi."

Shuler, a former NFL quarterback who came to Congress in the Democratic wave of 2006, is one of several conservative members of the Democratic caucus who have distanced themselves from Pelosi in the last year and IS among the dozen or so who would not commit to backing Pelosi. He also voted against the health care reform bill and the Wall Street bailout legislation.

As election day nears, speculation is rampant about Pelosi's fate atop the Democratic caucus should her party lose the House or maintain a narrow edge over the Republicans. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is considered Pelosi's logical successor, but has said he will not mount a direct challenge to the speaker. Shuler is the first Democrat to say he would challenge Pelosi directly.

For the latest election coverage, follow me on Twitter @1PatriciaMurphy.

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Filed Under: The Capitolist

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14 Comments

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WILFRIDSAINTJEAN

As long as the Democrats have the majority in the house Pelosi should remain as the speaker of the house.

October 29 2010 at 1:30 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
Jennie

Pelosi has been a excellent speaker --who has been demonized because of all the right wing attacks and because she is a woman.

October 29 2010 at 1:26 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
cayce58

Democrats should cycle through leaders on a regular basis. They the republican propaganda machine would have to make villians out of a new person every two years. When they have said the same lies about 4 different leaders, even simple(the average guy who is too busy to pay attention) people will be on to the game.

October 29 2010 at 10:29 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
eyedzervit

To all of these Democrats who all of a sudden have had an "epiphany" and are deciding to break with the Democrats in power and their legislation..... YOU'RE A LITTLE LATE IN THE GAME FOR THIS. Where were you when Obama and his group took over and were able to pass all of their legislation that you all agreed to? Where were your convictions THEN ??

October 29 2010 at 12:39 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to eyedzervit's comment
Jennie

Why are the Republicans doing so well at present seems a mystery to me. Apparently people think they can help the economy. Maybe they can temporarily, but at what price? How badly do our freedoms need to be jeopardized? How many hungry children does there have to be? How ravaged does our environment have to become? How big does the discrepancy between the rich and the poor have to become? What percentage of the population needs to be incarcerated? How bad does world opinion of us, have to become etc. etc----before people see the evil in the policies of the Republicans? I don’t understand it. But after prayer and meditation, it came to me. Americans all want the “American Dream” –or the possibility of it. They are afraid that liberals will so tame our society that they will never get their shot at “The Dream.” Even though the well- being of most will be lessened by the policies of the Republicans—they still have the hope of “making it”---achieving the dream of becoming very wealthy in America. I want that too----as I have spent most of my adult life working 50 to 60 hours a week as a nurse and could use a rest----but I want to be good, noble and honorable more. I want to end hunger in America more. I want to save the environment more. I want sick children to have health care more. And on and on. I guess I care about others who and like me and not like me. I care about truth---such as worshipping the Bible and believing a dogma, is not authentic spirituality. I believe in the teachings of Jesus and in following them—rather than on a story made up about him I do not believe or could never possibly love a God who would torture unbelievers for eternity—or that the earth is flat. It is time for our nation to grow up and get out of the dark ages—or we will cause so much more suffering. Vote Democratic!

October 29 2010 at 1:28 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
cowboybobthehomo

this is actually to jennie, just below eyedzervit...I am going to systematically answer all of her questions and respond to comments...first, republicans are doing so well currently because the obama administration (including nancy pelosi and harry reid) have done opposite what the american people asked for. the health care bill was supported by a minority of the nation. they pushed it through anyway. the stimulus has not been remotely as successful as what was promised. when there was left over tarp funds, instead of reallocating them for other spending, the administration continued to borrow additional money to put our country in a greater debt to china (a perfect example was the unemployment extension). with regards to our freedoms being jeopardized, someone is feeding you some garbage...under the new insurance laws, the irs is going to be in our lives monthly, rather than annually to audit our insurance participation and if you do not purchase it for yourself, you will be fined. this removes people's freedoms, with respect to their option to not buy something. when there is a gun control initiative put out, all it does is take weopons out of law abiding citizen's hands (criminals will continue to illegally procure them). when we can no longer exercise our state sovereignty to protect our borders from illegal aliens who are breaking a multitude of laws, we are having our freedoms jeopardized. how many hungry children you ask? how many of them are not going to the already existing soup kitchens and/or shelters? There are existing programs that satisfy the need that exists for that group. THEY ARE UNDER UTILIZED! This also is closely tied to the first comment with regards to freedoms. Those individuals who do not want to be charitable should not have to be. There are enough people in this world who are entirely willing to give to varied private organizations to assist low income/impovrished/homeless people. It infringes on the rights of everyone who would prefer to be selfish. The discrepency between the rich and the poor will continue to grow. It is the nature of the economic system. Who really cares? If a multi-billionaire has 10 billion instead of 20, does it really matter to you? that person earned that money. Quit trying to take it. Besides that, that multi-billionaire wants that money to grow. It will not do so in a significant way without being reinvested in something (resulting in job creation). What percentage of the population needs to be incarcerated (my personal favorite)? How about all of them who break laws that require incarceration as a penalty. If they dont want to be in jail, they need to quit killing, stealing, raping, drug dealing and causing our system to further deteriorate through rapant law breaking...seriously, were you drunk when you asked that? If a person kills someone, what do you think needs to happen? If they steal from you or your family or friends or whoever, do you think they should be out on the street doing the same thing to someone else? That comment killed any credibility that you might have had initially. with regards to the world opinion of us, maybe you should look at it this way. in any heirarchy, there are strong and there are weak. there are the bosses and there are followers. The ones who make the decisions and have the most weight in that process are not going to be everyone's favorite all the time. there will be unpopular decisions made because it is decided that it is for the "greater good", or because it helps achieve the goals of the entity in control...lucky for you, your country has the biggest stick and can currently help shape international policy to benefit you. there is a winner and a loser in every decision and the loser is normally not all that happy. there is no way to make everyone happy with us. With respect to your additional comments, I have to think that you must have just started putting words together because they sounded nice. liberals will not tame our society. it is opposite of what they believe in...taking from one group to give to another is not taming, it is robbery. If I drugged you and took your kidney because my sister needed one, knowing that you would still live because you had 2, I am justifying theft (along with assault and a variety of other things) because it makes me happy in that situation. It still is not right. lastly, if you vote at all, you are being/voting democratic. that is what the process is called. you want people to vote democrat. there is nothing democratic about a group of people who, as representatives, looks at public opinion and ignores it to vote their own way (healthcare, stimulus, additinal stimulus, etc). That is not democratic. The only thing democratic in this instance is that the democratic process is in action while these representatives are being voted out.

November 03 2010 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Vilvens

She did a lot for progressive liberals. She is not good for the country but has done a good job of making deals to get obama's agenda through the house.

October 28 2010 at 7:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Hoser

Good a change might be just what is needed!

October 28 2010 at 7:26 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Luke

A million Germans said they would fight Hitler if he wasn't dead. Unfortunately a world had spent 5 years at war, and 6-7 million people were exterminated. That is not leadership, that is saving your ass from prosecution. If the Blue Dogs had stood for something, anything other than power, this conversation would be mute, his leadership would have already been demonstrated. Enjoy retirement, I understand you all have created a pretty nice package for yourselves!

October 28 2010 at 7:24 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
dreamworksdisney

Schuler is not a woman.

October 28 2010 at 6:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
gerodoc1955

He was a mediocre quarterback..he's be the same as the House Speaker. Plus..the Dems are NOT holding onto the House of Representatives..Boehner will be the new Speaker of the House.

October 28 2010 at 4:24 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply
Steve

Heath is a great guy. He is no Nancy Pelosi. Nancy has gotten a lot done. That's one reason that conservatives don't like her. Also, shes a woman. They have tried to make her name a rallying call for getting their country back. But when you listen to her and see what she has done you realize that she is one smart cookie.

October 28 2010 at 12:53 PM Report abuse -25 rate up rate down Reply

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