Rep. Cárdenas on Pelosi's leadership: Democrats need to 'make some tough decisions'

Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California appeared on CNN Wednesday and was asked if he supported Nancy Pelosi’s leadership in the House. In response, he did his best to dodge the question. From the Hill:

Cárdenas was asked during an interview on CNN about a meeting he attended earlier this year that reportedly involved a discussion on whether Pelosi should be replaced. He was pressed on whether he feels that is necessary.

“I think that those meetings are necessary. We’re a body of members elected by the public,” he said.

CNN’s co-anchor pressed Cárdenas on whether the party’s future was “with or without” Pelosi. He replied, “No one person is more important than this country, and the bottom line is this: We need to move forward with our best foot forward, with the best plan, with the best individuals, having the best honest message.” That’s an agenda so superlative and so vague that I’m sure no one could disagree. But of course, the question was whether or not Pelosi is the best foot Democrats have to put forward.

As soon as he runs out of breath co-host Poppy Harlow asks, “Can you do that with Nancy Pelosi? Yes or no?”

“As far as I’m concerned, we have to look in the mirror and realize whether we can or can’t and then move forward and make some tough decisions,” he replies. Again, this isn’t an answer, it’s a dodge which seems to suggest Democrats need a reckoning that Pelosi is a problem, but Cárdenas obviously doesn’t want to say that explicitly.

The best part of this clip isn’t Cárdenas awkward tap-dance around the question, which is amusing, it’s the look on Poppy Harlow’s face as he refuses to answer the question not once but twice. In the end, she says, “That’s not an answer” and Cárdenas replies, “That is an answer, thank you.” Harlow just shrugs because it is “an answer” it’s just not a responsive answer to her question. Here’s the clip: