Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed New York politicians — singling out Gov. Kathy Hochul — for not realizing soon enough that crime was a critical issue in the midterms, a failure that cost Democrats their majority in the chamber.

“That is an issue that had to be dealt with early on, not 10 days before the election,” Pelosi told New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd in an interview published Sunday. “The governor didn’t realize soon enough where the trouble was.”

Hochul defeated Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, who made crime a cornerstone of his gubernatorial campaign as he reduced her double-digit lead in the polls to a toss-up.

As late as October, and just weeks before the Nov. 8 election, Hochul was dismissing New Yorkers’ fears that crime was on the rise in the Big Apple’s streets and subways because “high-profile” crimes “created a sense of fear in people’s minds.”

She finally acknowledged in an interview on NY1 on Nov. 3 that there was a crime problem.

Nancy Pelosi
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes crime should have been a forefront issue for the 2022 midterm elections.
Getty Images/ Alex Wong/
The former House speaker said Democrats realized too late that crime was a significant issue.
Christopher Sadowski

“I acknowledge there is a crime issue,” Hochul told the station’s Pat Kiernan. “It’s not new to me because it’s election time, I’ve been working on this throughout my entire time as governor.”

Pelosi, in the interview with Dowd, was also asked whether President Biden, 80, should run for re-election.

She said it’s up to Biden, who would be 86 at the end of a second term, to decide on running again.

Gov. Kathy Hochul eventually addressed residents’ concerns about crime, saying it’s something she’s been working on throughout her term.
James Keivom

“Is age a positive thing for him? No,” Pelosi, 82, said, noting that age is a “relative thing.”

On the positive side, she thinks “Jill is ready to go, for him to run,” referring to first lady Jill Biden. 


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