House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday 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.
"Yes, I do," Pelosi told reporters at the end of her weekly press conference Thursday when asked if she supports him.
Lipinski's position on abortion has drawn 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.
Despite her own pro-choice stance, Pelosi does not have a litmus test on the issue when it comes to members in her own party. In an interview last year, Pelosi and the DCCC said there is room in the party for pro-choice Democrats like Lipinski.
“This is the Democratic Party. This is not a rubber-stamp party,” Pelosi said in an interview with the Washington Post in May.
Lipinski, however, has long drawn the ire of some within the party, particularly over his votes against the Affordable Care Act, marriage equality and immigration.
This primary is the toughest Lipinski has faced since winning his seat in 2004. He is also a co-chairman of the Blue Dog coalition in the Democratic caucus.
The district is likely to remain Democratic no matter who wins the primary contest, which takes place March 20.