By Clare Foran, CNN
(CNN) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned fellow Democrats in an exclusive CNN interview that the party “must be unified” to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential race, while noting that any of the candidates running to face him “would be a better president.”
“I can’t even envision a situation where he would be reelected. But we are not, we don’t take anything for granted. As I say, we have to have our own vision for the future. But everybody knows that we must be unified in making sure that he does not have a second term,” Pelosi told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at the Munich Security conference over the weekend.
Pelosi’s comments come as a crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates continue to battle it out in the primary race to see who will go on to face Trump in the general election with the White House at stake. The field of Democratic candidates that started out with more than 20 hopefuls has winnowed down to eight following the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
The House speaker argued that Democrats “have a better vision for America and we must defeat Donald Trump.”
“We know one thing: we have a better vision for America, and we must defeat Donald Trump who does not share a vision that is about unity and unifying the country,” she said.
Pelosi said that the Democratic Party is “a party of vitality, differences of opinion, which we will resolve. She added that she has “trust in the American people” and “it isn’t up to me to decide, it’s up to the people.”
But she noted that she believes each one of the 2020 Democratic hopefuls “have made a very valuable contribution to the debate,” and that that it is “easy” for her to say that “any one of them would be a better president than the current occupant of the White House.”
“I think every one of our candidates, all 25 — I don’t know if Michael Bloomberg is counted in the 25, but Michael Bloomberg, too — have made a very valuable contribution to the debate putting forth their vision, their knowledge, their judgment, their strategic thinking,” she said.
Pelosi has not endorsed any candidate, but added that she isn’t counting out former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now trailing in the count of pledged delegates.
“I’m grateful to all of them for putting themselves on the line, putting forth their ideas. And now, we come down to the winnowing process,” she said, adding, “quite frankly, with all the respect in the world for Iowa and New Hampshire, I’m not counting Joe Biden out. There’s still races ahead that are much more representative of the country.”
She did not directly mention Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has emerged as an early front-runner in the Democratic race drawing support from the liberal wing of the party.
Trump “will never be vindicated” after impeachment and Ukraine scandal
Pelosi argued during the interview that Trump “will never be vindicated” after the Democratic-controlled House moved to impeach him over his actions toward Ukraine, despite the fact that the Republican-led Senate ultimately voted to acquit and the White House has claimed “exoneration.”
“The President may have been acquitted by the Senate, which didn’t have the courage to honor its oath of office on the Republican side, but he will never be vindicated from this,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi, who has previously said that she prays for the President, said, “I don’t know if the President is a person of faith, it’s not for me to make that judgment.”
She went on to say, “He said I didn’t pray for him. I thought if he’s a person of faith, he would recognize another person of faith, and if he prayed he would recognize that other people do, even for him.”
Trump used the House “as a backdrop for a reality show” during SOTU
Pelosi said that the President used the House of Representatives “as a backdrop for a reality show” during his recent State of the Union address to Congress.
“I was very disappointed in the fact that the President used the chamber of the House of Representatives, the people’s House, as a backdrop for a reality show”
She defended her controversial decision to rip up Trump’s speech, a dramatic moment that was met with criticism from Republicans, and addressed the moment where Trump appeared to snub her by ignoring her outstretched hand.
“He didn’t shake it when he extended it. I don’t know what you call that. But in any event, that had nothing to do with my tearing up the State of the Union address. My tearing it up had to do with, I thought, if I can find a page that doesn’t have a falsehood on it, I’ll spare it, but I couldn’t find that,” Pelosi said.
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