September 25th, 2007
05:29 PM ET
11 years ago

Pelosi: 'I have to do what I have to do'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California

WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed Republicans in the Senate for blocking legislation that would either limit or end the war in Iraq in an exclusive interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.

"The Republicans in the Senate have now taken ownership of the war in Iraq," Pelosi said. "It was President Bush’s war. And now it is the Republicans in Congress’ war. And that marks a big turning point for us because we had hoped to have bipartisanship in redeploying out of Iraq."

Pelosi said she would continue trying to get bills passed to limit the missions and deployments for troops and promised to hold the administration "accountable time and time again for the conduct of this war."

Despite their disagreements, Pelosi said she thinks she and Bush have a good working relationship, and was optimistic that they could work together on an energy bill.

"I respect him as a person, I respect the position he holds," she said. "He respects the position of Speaker of the House. He knows he has to do what he has to do. He knows that I have to do what I have to do. And so I think we have a good rapport. We understand each other."

You can see the interview tonight in The Situation Room at 7 p.m., ET.

- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Jerry, NY

    Come on Wolf, it looks like you have nobody else to bring to situation room but Pelosi. I never listen to her because she is from the leftist Sanfrancisco area. If you need more eudience, please bring on credible people on your show and do not be biased. Do not be a mountpiece for leftist democrats.

    September 25, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. Mike, Milwaukee, WI

    What you NEED TO DO Speaker Pelosi, is to cut off funds for this war......

    September 25, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. John, Ca.

    She is absolutely right, this is the Republicans in Congress' war!

    November 2008 can't come soon enough!

    September 25, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Rodney Dallas TX

    People are blaming Congress for not making any changes since being elected, yet, even though they hold majority, there are still not enough to get the votes they need to get anything done. In '08 vote for Democrat if you want this war to end. Vote democrat if you want your children to have health care. Voting republican is just stupid. Many republicans can't voice their own opinion. If Bush says jump, they say how hi. Vote someone in with their own voice. Isn't that why we have elections, to vote for someone to speak on our behalf. It's funny, no one has spoken on my behalf in the last 8 years.

    September 25, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. James, Phoenix AZ

    "Pelosi said she would continue trying to get bills passed to limit the missions"

    Funny... I always thought the President was the Commander and Chief and the Speaker of the House was responsibile for general legislation. I guess it's General Pelosi, now?

    September 25, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    A little late is better than never I guess.Please don't crumble this time.

    September 25, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. scott, manchester NH

    i still have trouble understanding why republicans POINT to Congress' low ratings and then paint it all as a democratic issue; its the republican PART of Congress that insists on siding with Bush..and naturally, when the margin is razor thin,'re gonna have some problems.
    Isnt it a MAJOR avoiding of the real issue to simply and blindly say Congress has ratings as low as bush...and worth mentioning that its republican leaders who insist on ignoring the will of the people??

    seems like a no-brainer to me.

    September 25, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    An admirable comment from Mrs. Pelosi about still trying to work together. I wish we had some more level-headed bipartisan accomplishments instead of stubbornly following bad policy just to appese the party of choice. It's incredible how many Republicans try to portray the Dems as "anti-troops" or "anti-American" when the Dems are constantly trying to pass bills in the troops' favor (more rest between tours of war, better benefits, etc.).

    Although both parties have their pros and cons, the country will be much better served with a Democratic president and congress (with a real majority).

    September 25, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. FT Doylestown Pa.

    Pelosi is "The Village Idiot"!
    She say "This is Bush's War" and now it's "The Republicans War"! Is this woman AMERICAN?? To think she is Third in line if some thing happens to Bush and Chenney......
    This Country Better Start Really Working TOGETHER like we All Did for WWII. This is going to change and I think all Americans have had enough with both Parties.

    September 25, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. Kendra, Nashville, TN

    Bob, I'm sorry. Your comment is as nutty as Pelosi's. She represents positive bipartisanship to you?
    You are being deceived. The democrats try to pass bills that benefit the troops short term and risking the security of our country and the Iraqi people (who want liberty) in the long term. How does this benefit anyone? Sure, she'll agree to send over more armor, but only if we agree to an exit date. That is ludicrous. What kind of country EVER announced an exit date in wartime? Why do you think this makes any sense at all?

    The only positive I can see in Pelosi's comments is her acknowledgment that she has to do what she has to do. She has to play to her lefty constituents– those like you– who really believe we ought to announce that we're leaving Iraq in 3 months, 2 weeks, 4 days, and three hours. It would be laughable if it weren't so insanely telling.

    September 25, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Stephen, Naples, Florida

    Ok, so what else has she achieved this year? Iraq isn't the only problem in America today.

    September 25, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. Lee, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    After living and working in California for fourteen years, I can truly say that Pelosi is the most useless Speaker of the House ever. Her, along with the two Senators (Boxter and Feinstein), are so far left that they cannot work with ANYBODY. Their thinking patterns and beliefs just don't fit with the majority of Americans in other parts of the Country.

    September 25, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. Matthew W. Combest Atlanta, GA

    Pelosi 08!

    September 25, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. Adam NY

    And the approval rate of this congress is?

    September 25, 2007 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    If the Speaker truly respects Bush as a person, she is seriously out of touch with the reality of the worst President in years if not decades.

    September 25, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  16. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, Florida

    The American people know that the Republicans in congress are obstructionists...and they will be defeated yet again next year in congressional elections.

    September 25, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  17. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    Oh my goodness if that is the kind of leadership you want then you need some help like the members of congress and the house of representives. They are a bunch of kids in a candy store they don't now which way the want to screw the taxpayers first. The Washington elite will say anything they may think we want to hear but they still keep on filling there pockets with our tax money and then some. They all need to be fired and we need some normal everyday folks to look out for the little guys in what use to be THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    September 25, 2007 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  18. bprossersme

    Sometimes when one is too close to a situation it would be wise to stand back for awhile and begin again later with a renewed vision. Loyality is not in question, both are walking towards the same goal for our country. There are several roads to that goal.

    September 26, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  19. Matt, Chico, CA

    Did you really just call Pelosi levelheaded?

    September 26, 2007 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  20. r.james

    Pelosi......Way past being an Idiot...............Most definately......2 Times an Idiot...

    September 26, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  21. afrit007

    Tough talk, but can she back it up? She's already taken impeachment off the table, and that's the only way to really get this President's attention.

    It's time she and other Democrats plucked up the courage to really face down Mr. Bush.

    Impeachment is the only way to truly hold him accountable.

    September 26, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  22. fran kaye

    She is giving herself away by saying that she has a good rapport with him; respecting him in all areas. I have been saying that she made some kind of deal with him at the very beginning of her position of Speaker of the House. That is why she has been saying all along that Impeachment is off the table. She put something on the table with Bush in secret.

    September 26, 2007 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  23. BCNU purple state, usa

    Pelosi: 'I have to do what I have to do'

    Popeye: "I am what I am'

    September 26, 2007 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  24. Mary, Beaver, PA

    The Democrats had as much chance as the Republicans to show some backbone and some leadership BEFORE we went to war with Iraq. Instead, they chose to goose-step behind Bush without even questioning the wisdom of his decisions. I'm not impressed by their 20-20 hindsight. A new broom to sweep government clean is long overdue.

    September 26, 2007 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  25. Bill Charleston SC

    Don't kid yourself into thinking the Democrats have the troops interest at heart with the legislation they have proposed. Their own interest is all they're concerned about by and large. They have two goals, embarass the president and hold onto power.

    For what it's worth, legislating specific rest periods between combat tours does nothing more than tie the hands of the combatant commanders. I'm a 20 year Army veteran who has participated in structuring the force for combat, and believe me, it's hard enough without congress meddling in the process that is owned by the president. If congress were to specify time limits between deployments, it would harm the troops, not help them. Because then the military would be forced to continue the mission with either less than trained troops, or not enough, both of which would lead to increased casualties in combat.

    Leave fighting the wars where it belongs, in the hands of the commander in chief and his generals.

    September 26, 2007 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
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