Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA) received pushback from supporters of Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her bid for Speaker of the House. Moulton, who has said the House needs "new leadership" now that Democrats have regained control of the chamber in the wake of the midterm elections, was greeted by constituents shouted and interrupted him during a town hall meeting in his district.
Moulton's critics say that his opposition to Pelosi is a product of ageism and sexism. Dozens of people at the Amesbury Town Hall shouted at him when he insisted that the "majority of Democrats want this change." Moulton also compared ousting Pelosi to ousting Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister and so-called "Iron Lady" whose tenure––and legacy–– is still the subject of heated debate.
Some protesters "held signs that were green on one side and red on the other. When Moulton or another attendee said something they didn’t like, the protesters held up the red signs to signal disagreement," according to a report from Politico.
This election was a call for change,” Moulton told reporters after the town hall. “I think if our party answers that call, that call for change with the amazing victories we had across this country, by just saying we’re going to reinstall the same status quo leadership we’ve had since 2006, for over 10 years, I don’t think we’re answering the call of the American people.”
Moulton was criticized for saying that the birth of his daughter 35 days ago inspired him to challenge Pelosi.
Much of the event was documented by Kevin Robillard, a senior political reporter with The Huffington Post.
Robillard noted the opinions of Moulton's supporters, too. Moulton scored points for his work on gun control, a top priority among his constituents.
Moulton announced that he is trying to persuade Marcia Fudge (D-OH), among others, to run for the Speaker position.
Moulton has earned a reputation as an anti-establishment candidate. He challenged longtime incumbent Rep. John Tierney, in his 2014 primary and his remained unopposed since. He is one of at least a dozen Democrats who has called for new leadership and voiced opposition to Pelosi assuming the role of Speaker, which she last held between 2007 and 2011. This stance has prompted some groups to launch fundraising campaigns to support a challenger in 2020.
Moulton, for his part, doesn't appear too concerned.
"I won by a primary. Primaries are good,” he told reporters. “I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t taken on a primary challenge myself. That’s what elections are all about, and that’s exactly the attitude that we should have right now. I think it’s sort of ironic the same people saying they should primary me are saying we shouldn’t have that primary we’re having right now in the House of Representatives.”