After a few months back in the minority, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says elections "shouldn't matter as much as they do."

That's what the former House speaker told a Massachusetts crowd Friday in between the raucous budget debate on Capitol Hill. Talking about the importance of shared values, Pelosi seemed to urge Republicans to moderate their views so that the space between the parties is not so vast. Then, she imagined, elections wouldn't be so determinative.

"To my Republican friends, take back your party, so that it doesn't matter so much who wins the election because we have shared values about, again, the education of our children, the growth of our economy, how we defend our country," she said.

Pelosi went on to say: "There's so many things at risk right now ... but the fact is is that elections shouldn't matter as much as they do, (there) should be some place on the spectrum where we respect each other's views and all the rest."

Otherwise, she said, "that can be problematic for the country, as I think we can see right now."

But the comments, made at Tufts University, seemed a departure from remarks President Obama made on the topic shortly after he took office.

During a widely reported meeting with Republicans about economic proposals, Obama was quoted telling the GOP leaders "elections have consequences," and, in case there was any doubt, "I won."

Back in 2009, Pelosi also agreed about the consequence of the vote, especially in terms of developing the stimulus bill: "Yes, we wrote the bill. Yes, we won the election."