Little brings conservatives together more than hating on Nancy Pelosi.
For years, the Democratic House speaker’s name has been like a foul oath in their mouths, as the epitome of a San Francisco liberal hell-bent on destroying “real America.”
Then she went to Taiwan.
In a jarring twist, Pelosi is enjoying a rare outpouring of applause from Republicans for her trip, which even some hardcore members of the MAGA wing of the GOP are praising for its symbolic tough stance against something they hate even more than Pelosi: China.
Pelosi became the highest-ranking U.S. politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years on Tuesday, touching down in the capital of Taipei and strolling across the Songshan airport tarmac in a salmon-pink power suit.
The trip is fraught with geopolitical significance and tension. Foreign policy experts worry China may be gearing up for an attack on the island of Taiwan—which Chinese leaders consider a renegade province—in a destructive sequel to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Some have openly worried that China might shoot down Pelosi’s plane.
Pelosi’s in-your-face show of support for Taiwan has now prompted Republicans to jump up and applaud her bravery with a surreal standing ovation—one that would bewilder anyone used to hearing the right demonize the Democratic speaker of the House over the three decades she’s spent in Washington.
Some rock-ribbed conservatives acknowledged the bizarre weirdness of the moment.
“I don’t think I’ve ever applauded Speaker Pelosi for anything; our politics could not be more opposed,” Kevin Roberts, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, told the Japanese news outlet Nikkei. “I applaud her for accepting the invitation, and I applaud her for not backing down.”
More than half of the 50 Republicans in the Senate signed a statement lauding Pelosi and released it right after she landed on the island.
“We support Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan,” the statement says. “For decades, members of the United States Congress, including previous Speakers of the House, have travelled to Taiwan. This travel is consistent with the United States’ One China policy to which we are committed.”
Herschel Walker, the Trump-backed GOP Senate candidate in Georgia and former NFL star, released a video before Pelosi’s arrival in Taipei in which he looked into the camera and urged Pelosi to go to Taiwan.
Walker even offered to personally escort her on the trip.
“If need be, Speaker Pelosi, I’ll take you to Taiwan myself, because I know what it means to stand up to tough opponents,” Walker said.
Pelosi earned rare, glowing coverage from Fox News.
Reporter Aishah Hosnie spent over a minute talking about Pelosi’s tough stance on China.
“We know that she is not one to back down,” Hosnie said. “She is a bold one.”
Even ultra-MAGA, pro-Trump Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene grudgingly admitted that others on the right appeared temporarily dazzled by Pelosi—although she reserved her praise for the speaker’s deft political skills.
“Pelosi is an expert political operative and strategist,” the firebrand GOP congresswoman tweeted. “Her trip to Taiwan appears ‘stunning and brave’ and is fooling many, even our side.”
Follow Greg Walters on Twitter.