WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — House Republicans will lean heavily on Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her comment that the GOP tax cut amounts to just "crumbs" for people in their quest to retain the majority this year.
In an interview with reporters on Thursday, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, who runs the House campaign arm, said the top Democrat is helping Republicans politically with her own well-publicized criticisms of the GOP.
Most recently, she called the Republican tax reform plan “Armageddon,” and said the $1,000 bonuses some companies awarded as a result of corporate tax cuts are “crumbs.”
“Her crumbs comment,” Stivers said. “That’s something I think we can use pretty effectively.”
Stivers echoed President Trump, who talked about Pelosi when he addressed the Republicans at the Greenbrier Resort Thursday during their annual retreat.
Trump told Republicans Thursday that the “crumbs” comment could hurt Democrats in the same way many believe Hillary Clinton by saying, during a campaign speech, that Trump supporters belong in “a basket of deplorables.”
“And then we got hit with these corporations giving tremendous bonuses to everybody, that Nancy Pelosi called crumbs,” Trump said to the GOP crowd. “That was a bad — that could be like deplorable. Does that make sense? Deplorable and crumbs?”
Republicans face a formidable challenge in November. Dozens of GOP lawmakers are retiring, including some in districts vulnerable to takeovers by Democrats.
Some generic ballot surveys have recently showed a significant advantage for House Democrats, but their lead was substantially cut after Republicans passed the tax bill.
Pelosi is sticking by the “crumbs” comment. She repeated it Thursday at an event in Massachusetts, according to the Daily Caller.
“There is a tax advantage in the beginning for workers, and that’s their enticement,” Pelosi said at a tax reform event in Cambridge. “While they give banquets to … the high end, to corporate America, and I say ‘crumbs,’ they mock me in ads for saying that, compared to what they get at the high end.”
Stivers said the recently passed tax reform plan can help the GOP hold onto the majority if they can effectively promote it to voters.
“I feel good about our chances,” Stivers said.