California Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi is displeased with the prospect of a significant third-party movement causing disruption in the 2024 presidential election.
“No Labels is perilous to our democracy. I hesitate to say No Labels because they do have labels. They’re called no taxes for the rich. No child tax credit for children. They’re called let’s undo the Affordable Care Act,” the former House speaker told reporters.
Pelosi expressed her sentiments during a breakfast event hosted by Third Way, a centrist Democratic organization that has become a prominent opponent of No Labels in this election cycle.
No Labels has already secured ballot access in twelve states for the November 2024 election. The progressive group MoveOn has urged state secretaries to investigate No Labels’ potential classification as a dark money organization.
Pelosi asserted that she had previously ignored No Labels, despite the organization targeting her during her tenure as House Speaker. However, she indicated that the dynamics might be different in the 2024 election.
“When they jeopardize the reelection of Joe Biden as president of the United States, I can no longer remain silent on that,” she said.
Former Maryland governor and No Labels co-chair, Larry Hogan (R), criticized Nancy Pelosi for fabricating claims about No Labels to gain political advantage, calling it “disheartening.” He emphasized that Pelosi is attributing roles to No Labels that the organization has never assumed.
No Labels, a nonprofit, is seeking national ballot access with the aim of forming a unity ticket led by both a Republican and a Democrat. The organization has not disclosed the leaders of such a ticket, operating as a nonprofit exempt from donor disclosure requirements.
According to the latest No Labels memo, there is an unprecedented desire for an independent or third-party candidate in this election cycle, driven partly by the low favorability ratings of both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, the frontrunners for the major parties.
Pelosi disputed the group’s premise, asserting that voters will return to the major parties once Biden is more visible on the campaign trail. Third Way President Jonathan Cowan acknowledged that early interest in third-party candidates reflects dissatisfaction, but he expressed skepticism that interest in No Labels and independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will persist as the general election campaign progresses.
Third Way was honored to host one of the preeminent leaders in Democratic politics, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, at our office this month where she warned about the danger of No Labels’ third-party bid and their plan to force a contingent election. pic.twitter.com/eazEY0mgUj
— Third Way (@ThirdWayTweet) November 15, 2023
So let me get this straight. According to Nancy Pelosi having more choices to vote for for president is "perilous to democracy" in a democracy. Democrats are clowns.🤡
Pelosi unloads on No Labels https://t.co/C7LB4updBz
— Skye Gunn (@Skye_Gunn) November 11, 2023
Pelosi and Third Way express concern about No Labels because they fear a moderately successful third-party candidate could amass enough electoral college votes to prevent either major party nominee from securing the required majority to win the presidency.
In this hypothetical scenario, with congressional delegations—where Republicans hold a majority—deciding the president, it could determine the outcome of the election.
While the likelihood of a third-party candidate accumulating sufficient electoral college votes is slim, the concern is that No Labels might sway the election to the Republican nominee through congressional delegations.
Ryan Clancy, chief strategist for No Labels, addressed this concern in a CNN interview, stating that while the organization is prepared for such a scenario, it would not present a ticket it didn’t believe had a clear chance of winning the election.
Pelosi and No Labels have a somewhat strained history; during the Trump administration, the organization contemplated a primary challenge against Pelosi and aimed to portray her as a partisan and divisive figure. Until Thursday, Pelosi had not commented on the group’s 2024 plans, joining a growing number of individuals and groups within the Democratic Party expressing heightened criticism of No Labels.