Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Democrat of California) blasted the No Labels movement on Thursday, calling it “perilous for democracy.”
The group is work to organize a third-party presidential bid, and a number of Democrats have criticized the organization for participating in work that could help former President Donald Trump, the GOP primary leader, win a general election.
“I hesitate to say ‘No labels’ because they have labels,” Pelosi said Thursday at an event hosted by the centrist Democratic group Third Way. “They say there are no taxes for the rich. No child tax credit. They are called to overturn the Affordable Care Act by calling on Republicans to change it.
Pelosi said she had previously ignored the group despite its attacks on her, calling them “not that important,” but she ultimately decided to speak out now.
“When they jeopardize the re-election of Joe Biden as president of the United States, I can no longer remain silent about them,” she said.
No Labels leaders have touted the group’s goal of appealing to the growing group of Americans who dislike both parties. The group’s idea is to launch a third-party “unity ticket” made up of a Democrat and a Republican, pointing to research showing there is a the appetite of voters for this kind of bipartisan leadership.
Leaders have also repeatedly said they would not present a unity plan if they did not think it could get the necessary number of votes.
Proposed presidential tickets include Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), former Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and 2020 candidate Andrew Yang.
But critics of No Labels have pointed out that, unlike other third-party efforts in America or in democracies around the world, No Labels does not have a coherent set of policy positions that it advocates.
Pelosi said the group does indeed hold certain positions, despite its claims, including attempting to undo Democrats’ “generational accomplishments” like the Affordable Care Act.
“They have a label, and it is perilous for our country,” she said. “Just look at who they want to have influence on our politics. »
She listed a number of prominent No Labels donors, including conservative mega-donors Peter Thiel and the late David Koch.
Third Way spokesperson Kate deGruyter also took aim at the group on Thursday.
“No Labels’ plan to run a Republican for president to force a conditional election would sow chaos. There is simply no path to victory,” she said in a statement. “If they continue this attempt at spoiler and try to play the role of kingmaker, the result will be the re-election of Donald Trump.”
The group attracted criticism from President Biden last month over attempts to go to presidential polls in some states.
“Now this is going to help the other guy, and he knows it,” Biden said, referring to No Labels chairman and former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut) helping Trump. “It’s a political decision that he’s making and I obviously think it’s a mistake. But he has the right to do it.
No Labels has gained ballot access in 11 states and has said it hopes to be in all 50 states next year.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.