A longtime Democratic consultant and strategist said Monday on "The Story" that a small group of moderate Democrats is enabling President Trump and causing trouble for potential House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Robert Zimmerman said that about a dozen Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of centrists with the shared goal of working together on legislation, are hurting the party by failing to stand up to Trump.

Several Democrats in the caucus, chaired by Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) and Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), are pressing Pelosi (D-Calif.) to shepherd new House rules they hope will "break the gridlock" on Capitol Hill.

Zimmerman said Pelosi is nonetheless all but a sure successor to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whose party lost power in the recent elections.

"The Problem Solvers Caucus didn't do anything to change the rules to make the House more democratic when the Republicans were in power," Zimmerman said.


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"I'm a big believer in bipartisanship," he said, adding that he worked with Republican lawmakers in the past himself.

He ripped Gottheimer and fellow Problem Solver Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi of New York, saying that they support "some of the right-wing initiatives" that President Trump has heralded.

Nine Democratic members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, including Gottheimer, Suozzi, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, put out a statement calling for the new Democratic-run House to take on specific steps to create better bipartisanship.

"We hope Leader Pelosi will join us... to help break the gridlock and pass meaningful legislation to fix health care, immigration and infrastructure," the statement obtained by The Hill newspaper said.

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