From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell and Mark Murray
After extended and pointed criticism of Republicans during the first 100 days, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called out to conservatives across the country saying, "Republicans in America, take back your party."
The Speaker insisted, "This is not the Grand Ol' Party."
She also suggested that "bipartisan conversations" going on among neighbors and friends across the nation are quite different than the sharp party divide she sees in Congress, especially the House.
Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid charged that the Republican Party only said, "No," these first 100 days. "How much longer can that party stand for 'no?'" Reid asked. Still, he said Democrats would continue to reach out to Republicans. "We're still extending an open hand across the aisle... We want to work together."
Pelosi added that "Republicans in the House of Representatives ... are difficult to deal with," which drew some chuckles from the crowd. And she and Reid argued that congressional Republicans don't represent "mainstream Republicans across the country."
Pelosi ended her remarks by saying the country is better off with a stronger, more diverse Republican Party. But Reid then interjected, "Not too strong..."
Pelosi: 'A' for Obama's 100 days
The Democratic leaders held the news conference to tout President Obama's first 100 days in office and their own accomplishments during that period.
"I'd definitely give the president an 'A'," Pelosi said, later adding that it would be an A++++ if he were being graded on a curve.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer noted that Obama was off to a "fast start to a long race."
And Sen. Chuck Schumer said that although the president's first 100 days have come to an end, his momentum hasn't. "It is stronger than ever," he said.
The Democratic leader listed what they see as their legislative accomplishment these first 100 days: the Lily Ledbetter Act on equal pay, an expansion of health-care coverage for children (S-CHIP), the economic stimulus and a public lands act.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This note has been updated and revised with more from the news conference.]