House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,, said on Thursday that she supports Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., and his bid for re-election, even as other Democrats have said they oppose him because he opposes legal abortion and LGBT rights.
The seven-term congressman from Chicago, who opposes abortion and voted against Obamacare, marriage equality and immigration reform, is the most conservative member of the House Democratic Caucus and so far right of center he might as well be a Republican but that doesn’t stop Pelosi.
“This is the Democratic Party. This is not a rubber-stamp party,” Pelosi said in an interview with the Washington Post in May.
Lipinski’s position on abortion and LGBT rights has drawn strong opposition from progressive and pro-abortion lawmakers such as Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., both of whom have endorsed his primary challenger, Marie Newman. Lipinski has not been endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
DNC President Tom Perez said, “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
Lipinski said that “Democrats have to know that they’re going to have the full support [of the DCCC] even if they’re not straight in the party line,” and that the party will need candidates who are not straight in the party line if they want to win back a majority.
Pelosi’s support for Lipinski is even more puzzling given that, as a member of the House Democratic caucus, he’s consistently voted against Pelosi’s own reelection bids to serve as Democratic leader.