(CNN) - In a rare campaign trail appearance, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi touted the Obama administration's legislative successes while blasting Republicans for wanting a return to "Bush administration policies" in a Monday speech to the United Steel Workers 'Women of Steel' conference in Pennsylvania.
"We must win this election," Pelosi told the crowd, which cheered and held up signs with the slogan 'Best Speaker ever.'
During the half hour speech, Pelosi defended the passage of the stimulus bill, saying that while many jobs were lost, unemployment would be worse if the bill had not been passed.
She also addressed GOP criticisms of the Obama administration as something "Republicans think might pay off for them politically," but in the long run "will not pay off for working families"
Throughout her speech, Pelosi returned to the the theme of criticizing the Bush administration.
"Republicans say if they took over they would go back to the exact same agenda," Pelosi said at one point. "We are not going back."
Associating with Pelosi and administration policies such as the health care bill has been seen by some Democrats as a negative during an election season where the last thing any candidate wants is to be seen as inside Washington. Members of Pelosi's own party have even run ads distancing themselves from the speaker.
But during her speech, Pelosi promoted the passage of the health care bill as a major victory for the Democrats and said, "it certainly would not have happened without Barack Obama."
Telling the crowd that Republicans would fight to repeal the bill, Pelosi asked supporters to "protect it as the Democratic victory it is in November."
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) responded to Pelosi remarks in a statement:
"This is not as much a rallying cry as it is a party leader frantically lashing out as the gavel continues to slip out of her hands," NRCC spokesman Paul Lindsey said in the statement.
"Speaker Pelosi is clearly as oblivious to the pulse of her own caucus as she is to the mood of the electorate that is prepared to send her a message in November."