"They're winning, and we're losing".
Trump's comments about "crying Chuck" are in reference to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
"It's not personal against Leader Pelosi, it's just reality", Ryan said, adding later his belief that Pelosi's leadership "provide [s] a good, solid impediment" to taking back the majority.
Pelosi became defensive, in the middle of a long rambling explanation about the state of the Democrat Party (video at end).
In fact Pelosi, 77, has emerged as a favorite GOP bogeyman and was the target of a barrage of negative advertising in the Georgia House race, mocking her as a San Francisco liberal and tying her to Ossoff. They worked perfectly in Georgia, ' said Gingrich, who used to represent the district in Congress that Ossoff just lost. "(Tom) Daschle was a target, Tip O'Neill was a target", Pelosi said. "And I think the answer is obvious", Vela said.
That the Pelosi-bashing continued to hurt Democrats - already struggling to get their bearings after Trump's win in November - left some fuming after a morning meeting Wednesday.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi is facing calls from within her own party to step down from the leadership post after a string of special election losses in districts where Democrats had hoped to capitalize on President Donald Trump's sinking popularity.
"One of the disappointing things from the last couple of days is that that approach still has a little bit of punch to it. And we better focus", Ryan said. "It'd be interesting to see if, what'd they say if I was from some other place".
"She will have to pick some issues she disagrees with the president on, going forward", the GOP aide said.
"It was a reach then and I think it will still be a reach in 2018", said one Democratic operative following the race.
Nancy Pelosi's effectiveness in her time as Speaker is unquestionable.
For GOP consultants, tie-every-Democrat-to-Pelosi is a tried-and-true strategy that's been working for more than six years. Now, with Obama and Reid gone, Republicans have occasionally tried latching Democratic senators to Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, with mixed results.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2006 the "three dirty words" were in vogue as Democrats threatened to retake the House, elevating Pelosi to the speaker position. Almost every House Democrat that lost that year - 52, hailed from districts that were moderate. "Personally I think it's time for a new generation of leadership in the party".
A dozen House Democrats huddled in the office of New York Rep. Kathleen Rice - an outspoken Pelosi critic - on Thursday afternoon, among them Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan. "I believe that she is not the leader for the future of the Democratic Party". Should Democrats ditch Nancy Pelosi as their leader?
Democrats may now have a similar conversation about Ossoff and whether - if he wants to run again - his is the best message.
In this week's Georgia and SC special elections, Republicans ran ads that targeted Pelosi.
"This takes the knowledge and experience that I have ... to make this fight", she said. While Trump received a much lower share of the vote there than did 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, he still beat Hillary Clinton, 48.3 percent to 46.8 percent; most of the remaining votes came from disaffected Republicans and independents who supported Libertarian Gary Johnson or wrote in other candidates, such as conservative Evan McMullin. "It's not enough to dislike Trump".
The California Democrat has always been a boogeywoman Republicans have used to motivate their base and to woo independents as the personification of liberal values. But guess what? It works, they're winning.