Democratic officials in the House of Representatives have leaked details about a fiercely bitter phone call to members about the results of the 2020 presidential election. Though it appears that the party will hold onto its majority in the lower chamber, numerous candidates lost their re-elections and are voicing concerns about the future.
One of the most vocal critics was Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, who called the results a “failure” despite Joe Biden’s likely presidential win. Her race remains uncalled, though she can boast a small 5,000 vote lead that will likely deliver her a narrow victory. However, her campaign had faced a barrage of negative ads from her GOP challenger ahead of November 3, especially over her support for a policy reform bill that was described as supporting the “defund the police” movement, per Politico.
“No one should say ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Spanberger purportedly said on the call, according to two sources. “Nobody should be talking about socialism.”
At one point, she was described as “yelling” on the phone.
Spanberger on the Dem caucus call: We lost races we shouldn’t have lost.
Defund police almost cost me my race bc of an attack ad.
Don’t say socialism ever again.
Need to get back to basics.
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) November 5, 2020
Spanberger offered another dire warning to her colleagues should they continue a more progressive agenda.
“We will get f*cking torn apart,” she reportedly said.
The Virginia representative was not the only one to get emotional while on the call. As the infighting continued, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida reportedly started “crying” while asking her colleagues to remain united and stop attacking each other on social media.
Though many members claimed that the party had lurched too far to the left, Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushed off such concerns.
“We held the House. Joe Biden is on a clear path to be the next president of the United States,” she allegedly said, per The Wall Street Journal.
“Clearly with Trump on the ballot, we knew it would be a steeper climb,” she added. “We did not win every battle but we did win the war. Every one of you knows that incumbent protection is my number one priority.”
Others recognized issues without laying blame at a specific cause.
“I’m furious. Something went wrong here across the entire political world,” lamented Rep. Cheri Bustos, who serves as the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
She promised that there would be a “post mortem” following full results. Bustos also faced harsh criticism for trying to expand the battlefield instead of reinforcing their majority.
Democrats had hoped to flip as many as a dozen seats, but instead have lost five so far — a result that has shocked pollsters and the establishment. In addition, a number of races are still in limbo as votes remain to be tallied, just like in the presidential race.