- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 26, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Wednesday morning that she’s comfortable with Sen. Sanders potentially securing the Democratic nomination, even as some her more moderate members push back against his candidacy.

Mrs. Pelosi gave a curt “yes” to reporters when asked if she was OK with his potential nomination, before heading into a secure briefing.

The California Democrat and two of her top lieutenants — Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Democratic Chairman Hakeem Jeffries — have stayed away from taking a side in the heated Democratic primary and are confident such a progressive candidate won’t hurt their chances to hold on to the majority in 2020.

“I’m aggressively neutral, because anybody who emerges would be better than the current occupant of 1600, Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Mr. Jeffries.

Meanwhile, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday morning. The South Carolina Democrat’s endorsement comes ahead of a key race in the primary, a victory sorely needed for Mr. Biden’s lackluster campaign.

“I know Joe, we know Joe, but most importantly Joe knows us,” he said. “I can think of no one better suited, better prepared.”

But while leadership, for the most part, is staying out of the election, the majority making moderates are nervous about the prospect of Mr. Sanders winning the nomination.

“Why would we risk this extraordinary opportunity by nominating somebody who has a tendency to divide our own side,” Rep. Tom Malinowski, who represents a  congressional district won by President Trump in 2016, told reporters Wednesday.

Seth McLaughlin contributed to this report.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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