Nancy Pelosi paused, smiled and chuckled a bit before saying "sure," she feels at least some sympathy toward outgoing Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
"It's hard to lose an election," said Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader of the House.
But she quickly added: "We all know you keep your home fires burning. The people are the boss, they speak."
Pelosi and Cantor have sparred for years, particularly ever since Republicans won control of the House in 2010 and Pelosi lost her position as speaker.
"I had as much sympathy for Mr. Cantor as he would want me to have for him," the California congresswoman said, flashing a smile once again that seemed to stop just short of being gleeful at the turn of fate for Cantor, who became the first House majority leader to lose a primary race since the position was created more than a century ago.