House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rehashed her mantra of the U.S. needing a "strong Republican party," not a "cult" while criticizing her Senate GOP colleagues' record on climate change.
Speaking at the opening session of the Aspen Ideas Climate Conference in Miami, Pelosi said she hoped to make climate a "bipartisan issue."
"You don't want me to get too political here, do you?" Pelosi asked the audience.
"I mean, the fossil fuel industry, they weigh in so significantly," she continued. "I mean, how could it be that nobody in the Senate cares about climate?
"Some of them do, and they talk about it, when it comes to the votes, it just isn't there, they just aren't there."
Pelosi went on: "So rather than saying, 'Well, we have to defeat them,' no, let's just try to persuade them. I want the Republican party to take back the party, take it back to where you were when you cared about a woman's right to choose, you cared about the environment."
To the audience's resounding claps, the House Speaker added: "Hey, here I am, Nancy Pelosi, saying this country needs a strong Republican party, and we do, not a cult, but a strong Republican party."
Pelosi has on multiple previous occasions called for a "strong" GOP party that eschews an internal "cult" movement.
Her latest comments were met by some criticism, however, primarily from leftists.
"Why does this country need a strong Republican Party?" tweeted filmmaker Bree Newsome. "What even is the basis of that statement? Who is this supposed to appeal to? I'm in my mid-30s & attacking civil rights is all I've known Republicans to do"
"Speaker Pelosi, they never cared about those things," posted Lindsey Boylan, a former Andrew Cuomo aide who accused the ex-New York governor of sexual misconduct. "I know she isn't dumb enough to think this. She's just betting that many of us are dumb enough to buy it."
"Republicans tried to overthrow the government, and leading Democrats keep talking about them like a friend they wish would text back more quickly," tweeted progressive activist Max Berger.
Comedian Kate Willett posted: "At least Democratic leadership is defending our righ- hold up sorry. Getting word they have decided to defend Republicans instead"
"This is weird and embarrassing on the merits, just as useless abstracted nonsense from a very rich and very powerful octogenarian, but it's inexcusable given that the Democrats are technically in power right now," tweeted journalist David Roth. "It's dumb, but also respect yourself."
When asked about Democratic Senator Joe Manchin—a centrist known for his record of opposing legislation that seeks to combat climate change—Pelosi responded: "Joe Manchin and I are Italian American, we're Catholics, we have our friendship, I've helped him—even though I think 'clean coal' is an oxymoron and I've told the coal miners that—I do believe in getting their benefits, whether it's pension or healthcare.
"And so we've worked on those issues together, and we have had our conversation, but right now, this conversation is a Senate conversation, but we're just optimistic and hopeful."