"I love the fray", Pelosi said at a news conference, advising against a change of leadership at a time when Republicans dominate both chambers of Congress and the White House. Ryan lost a bid to replace Pelosi as the top elected Democrat in the House in November.
But while Pelosi's critics are increasingly vocal, they have not yet answered critical questions about who would fill her leadership and fundraising roles if they were to mount a serious challenge for the perch atop the party Pelosi has held since 2002. Democrats knew the seat was winnable, or they wouldn't have poured millions of dollars into the race.
Pelosi has been the target of campaign advertisements aimed at weakening the party's brand, including the recent special election in Georgia's 6th District.
In the run-up to the Georgia election, an attack ad painted Ossoff as a candidate with San Francisco interests.
The frustrated Democrats met in Rice's office a day earlier to discuss their options as they face long odds of knocking out the woman who has led the Democratic caucus for almost 15 years from minority to majority and back, raised tens of millions of dollars and has had multiple legislative successes.
Increasingly, Democrats concerned about Pelosi's status as a bogeyman on the right - which Republicans have effectively used to motivate their base voters - are warning that unless Pelosi is ousted, she could cost the party its shot at winning control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.
Pelosi defended herself Thursday, calling herself a "master legislator".
"When it comes to personal ambition and having fun on TV, have your fun", Pelosi said. Pelosi was a central figure in the millions of dollars in ads Republicans ran against Ossoff, even though Ossoff had never even committed to supporting Pelosi as Minority Leader.
"Maybe they don't want to play in that arena, but I'm very proud of the members who do", she said.
But after what happened on Tuesday night in special congressional elections in Georgia and SC, I'm beginning to think the Democrats are never going to get exhausted of losing.
But Pelosi's camp signaled she is taking the grumbling seriously.
Pelosi brushed off the tweet, contending that Trump hadn't actually written it himself because "it's a classic Republican line".
"Usually they go after the most effective leaders because they want to diminish the opportunity that we have", Pelosi said.
At least a dozen Democrats attended the confab including Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond (La.), Tony Cardenas (Calif.), a member of House Democratic leadership, and Reps. Democrats have been chafing in the minority since they were thrust there in 2010 after risky votes in favor of President Barack Obama's initiatives including the Affordable Care Act. Conservative strategist Frank Luntz took to Twitter to say "she represents everything swing voters dislike about D.C". "We need to move forward and we need to get a new leadership team in place", Rice said after the hour-long meeting.
Roughly 20 Democrats were invited to the private session, although one member said some decided not to show up after POLITICO reported the meeting ahead of time.