House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she doesn’t think Democrat Conor Lamb ran against her “the entire time” in Pennsylvania’s special election.
Lamb, who has declared victory over Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, said during the race that he did not support Pelosi.
“I don’t think he ran against me the entire time,” the California Democrat said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. “I think he ran on his positive agenda.”
Pelosi added, “One candidate in Texas came out and said he would not be for me, and he came in fourth. So let’s not read too much into this.”
Lamb holds a 627-vote lead over Saccone, who has not conceded in the race.
During his campaign, Republicans attempted to tie Lamb to Pelosi. Lamb released an ad distancing himself from the House minority leader.
“My opponent wants you to believe that the biggest issue in this campaign is Nancy Pelosi. It’s all a big lie,” Lamb said in the ad. “I’ve already said on the front page of the newspaper that I don’t support Nancy Pelosi. The real issues are the ones that affect your lives.”
Pelosi said Thursday it was an “issues-oriented campaign,” and said “the ‘D’ next to his name was very significant.”
“I just wanted him to win,” Pelosi said, adding that she didn’t think Lamb coming out against her had that much impact on the race. “He won.”
Pelosi talked about the tens of millions of dollars in ads coming in from outside groups including the Koch brothers, “demonizing me as the leader of the Democratic party.” Pelosi said, “whoever the leader is will be the target, adding that the GOP “can’t win on the issues, so they go after a person.”
“They’re coming after me because of my city, and they’re against LGBT, and they’re against poor children,” she added. “What can I say, I’m a liberal.”
CNN’s Eric Bradner and Manu Raju contributed to this report.