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Steyer: Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Billionaire and Democratic activist Tom Steyer has nothing but nice things to say about Nancy Pelosi — but he thinks she should stop using her "crumbs" line to talk about the GOP tax plan.

"Words really matter," he told Axios at the California Democratic Party convention. "I think she probably wouldn't use that word again because they're trying to use it against her. Nancy was making a point that was true, but she said it in a way that disparaged the amount of money that they were getting."

Steyer said he understands what Pelosi was trying to say — that the vast majority of Americans are getting a disproportionate amount compared to the wealthiest — but he said she should stop using "crumbs" because Republicans will continue to "turn it around to make it look like she's insensitive."

He wouldn't say if Democrats need new leadership. "I'm sure Nancy will kill herself to win on Nov. 6," he said. "I have a ton of gratitude for what she's done and the job she's done."

  • But he thinks the Democratic Party needs to figure out what it stands for and what it's willing to fight for.
  • His speech at the California Democratic Party convention will highlight that message. The Trump administration is "so damn dumb," he said, and Democrats have to ask: "What are they not doing that we want them to do?"

One quick thing, on Republicans dusting off their old playbook and using attack ads against Pelosi as a 2018 campaign strategy: "I don't think there's any doubt that Nancy is a flash for the hard-right," he said. "They've managed to turn her into a caricature of what they fear."

Go deeper: Prominent Democrats want Pelosi to stop using her "crumbs" line.

Go deeper

Omicron cases confirmed in 4 U.S. states

A healthcare worker inserts a Covid-19 rapid test into a machine in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Daniel Brenner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Five cases of the newly-discovered Omicron variant were detected in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday, making New York the fourth state with confirmed cases.

The latest: In addition to New York, the variant has been confirmed in California, Colorado and Minnesota.

Early winter heat shatters records in U.S., Canada

Temperature departures from average on Dec. 2, 2021, as depicted by the GFS computer model. (Weatherbell.com)

A widespread and intense heatwave is roasting large portions of the U.S. and Canada, shattering daily and monthly temperature records.

Why it matters: Winter is the fastest-warming season across the U.S., and the lingering warmth is shortening the snow season in places like Colorado and Montana, where mountain snowpack is a critical source of water during the summer months.

5 hours ago - Science

COVID time warp

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic seems like a lifetime ago to some, and just yesterday to others. Scientists are beginning to unpack the way people processed the passage of time amidst the stress, uncertainty and isolation of the 1 year, 8 months and 21 days since WHO declared a pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic's global effects on how people experience time could provide new insights into the brain's ability to perceive and predict time — a fundamental feature of life.