Pelosi campaign selling 'Don't Mess with Nancy' shirts after tussle with reporter
Tempers growing short for two high-profile Democrats; reaction and analysis from Fox News media analyst Howard Kurtz, host of 'Media Buzz.'
Nancy Pelosi for Congress is selling "Don't Mess with Nancy" crewneck sweatshirts in an apparent attempt to fundraise off the media attention she received after Thursday's press briefing. The Speaker caused an uproar after she told a reporter not to "mess with" her, pushing back on a question about whether she hated the president.
"As a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone," she told Sinclair reporter James Rosen.
"I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love and always pray for the president. And I still pray for the president. And I pray for the president all the time, so don't mess with me when it comes to words like that."
Rosen, who previously worked for Fox News, denied accusing her of hating the president.
Their exchange was just the latest instance in which Pelosi appeared to try and tell off a reporter. She previously knocked Rosen in November, describing him as "Mr. Republican talking points" after he asked a question about Trump getting the right to confront his accuser in the Ukraine controversy.
The Speaker similarly tried to leverage a viral moment for her benefit. She previously made her Twitter cover photo that of one President Trump tweeted as evidence that she had an "unhinged meltdown" during a meeting in October.
Not everyone was fan of her viral moment. President Trump tweeted that Pelosi looked like she "just had a nervous fit."
"She says she 'prays for the President.' I don’t believe her, not even close. Help the homeless in your district, Nancy," he said shortly after Thursday's press briefing.
"Rosen asked best Q which exposed her," Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted. "This IS based on hate. Everyone knows it. Pelosi answer was basically 'we don’t hate anyone,' but then called Trump 'a coward.'"
But the Speaker won praise from "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," which tweeted a video arguing that Trump would do better to call Pelosi "boss."
Ingraham also took issue with Pelosi calling herself a Catholic. The California congresswoman has described herself as a "devout practicing Catholic," identifying with what is perhaps the largest pro-life organization in the world.
But Pelosi has defended congressional funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, and vowed to defend the landmark abortion legalization case Roe v. Wade with "every tool in our disposal."
Catholic clergy have repeatedly condemned both the act itself and pro-choice political advocacy. Vatican officials have reportedly said Pelosi should be denied the sacrament of Holy Communion. The Archbishop of San Francisco -- where Pelosi's district is located -- also reportedly said "no Catholic can dissent in good conscience" from the Church's position on abortion.