WASHINGTON -- Acknowledging how little the current Congress has done for Americans during the jobs crisis, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that President Barack Obama should "run against this do-nothing Congress" to strengthen the message of his 2012 re-election campaign.
"We have missed an opportunity," the highest-ranking House Democrat told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
When Crowley noted that running against Congress would, in effect, mean running partly against Pelosi, the House minority leader said House Republicans are to blame for the failures on Capitol Hill. But she added that she had "no problem" with the president running against Congress as a whole.
"I completely subscribe to his approach," Pelosi said. "I think it's really important for the president to make the race that he is running against a do-nothing Congress."
Considering Congress' dismal approval ratings, it's an approach that the president is likely to take throughout the 2012 campaign season. Although Obama has been pressing lawmakers to renew the payroll tax cut through this year, the White House has hinted that he won't be working closely with Congress anytime in the near future. Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest said, "In terms of the president's relationship with Congress, the president is no longer tied to Washington, D.C."
Speaking with Crowley on Sunday, Pelosi also responded to a recent statement from GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich that collaborating with Pelosi on an ad about climate change was "the dumbest thing" he's done in the last four years.
"Well, I don't want to make any comments about Newt Gingrich," Pelosi said. "But he has been fined $300,000 dollars by the ethics committee, you'd think he'd consider that a big mistake ... Since you brought up my name in association with him as the dumbest thing he ever did, I think there's plenty of stiff competition for that honor, as far as his activities go."