October 1st, 2010
05:20 PM ET
8 years ago

Pelosi defiant on keeping the House

(Washington) CNN - At a session with journalists on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it clear she's not interested in talking about losing the House of Representatives in the upcoming midterm elections. She was defiant, and would not hear of the possibility of a GOP wave.

"I would rather be where we are than where they are," Pelosi said.

And what about the conventional wisdom that the Democratic base will stay at home because it is disappointed in Obama?

"I am the base," she said, recalling her days as chair of the California Democratic party, making the point that Democratic candidates "will own the ground on our races."

Translation: Democrats will turn out to vote.

In a way, it's not surprising that the House Speaker refuses to allow that she might not have her job back next year. But it's also in character: she's a focused, determined, pragmatic politician with one job at hand; to keep the House in democratic control. To do that, she's given her Democrats leeway to do what they must-vote against Democratic proposals and even distance themselves from her personally.

When I asked her about Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho, who told CNN that he hasn't yet decided if he would back Pelosi as speaker, her response was instantaneous.

"Go for it," she said. "Just win your election. I just want them to win. It's their election. It's not about me."

Pelosi was predictable in her talking points: "This is a choice election, and the choice is between going back to George W. Bush or moving the country forward."

She repeatedly told reporters she was "proud" of this Congress' achievements, including health care, a small jobs bill and financial reform, to name a few. Why didn't she call for a vote on tax cuts? While some doubt that she had the votes (with the defections of moderate Democrats), she said she did. Her reason for pulling the measure now? "Do I give them (the GOP) an opportunity to misrepresent again?" she asked rhetorically. "No. I will not give them grist for the mill."

What she will do throughout the campaign is continue to try and tie the GOP to special interests-either the insurance industry, for instance, or the industries that are funding their ad campaigns.

"We need to "tattoo the Republican candidates with the source of that money and that record," she said. "It gives new meaning to the term 'Buy America.'"

In the end, though, after a discussion about why people have turned on government-which she says is nothing new-even Pelosi had to admit that the elephant in the room is 9.5 percent unemployment. "Any political party that can't exploit 9.5 percent unemployment ought to hang up their gloves," she said.

Clearly, though, she's not willing to hang up hers yet.

Filed under: 2010 • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Vote Democrats or Bend Over for the Tea Party!

    The Republicans want Americans to feel the country is sinking. Not true! The stock market best run in September in 70 years, We got Health care, Education and Wall St reform. Folks we move our country off of sand and President Obama and the Democrats set it upon Rock! Those are the fact! Not opinions!

    October 1, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    boner is only in it for himself. He wants to show that orange ugly mug behind the President giving speeches in Congress.
    People of Ohio listen up. Get rid of this man!! He's toxic.

    October 1, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. XWngLady

    Hope I'm spunky or look that good at 70. Get 'em Nancy!

    October 1, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. Texas Doc

    Good to see a real patriot standing up for America. Say what you want, but the GOP stands for....waiting on it...oh yeah the Teabaggers and $$$$$$$$$$$.

    October 1, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Jacob

    i love her! thank you, Nancy Pelosi – keep fighting the good fight!

    October 1, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Nancy IS consistent in sticking with the base, yes. However...San Francisco does have a bad reputation for being too radical and the Gay Rights constituency is too aggressive. Gays will get their progress eventually but having riots, protests or trying to force their agenda upon the more Conservative-minded heartland only makes the entire Democratic party weaker.

    The Dem's need someone that's more of a centrist on social issues to be the new leader. Too much focus on what's best for San Francisco will only undermind the Dem's and will force the moderates or right-leaning to vote Republican.

    October 1, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. gt

    the best thing for this country is that the house will be change and nany is replaced.... she has done more harm to this country than george bush , benadict aronld and the tokyo rose combined....

    October 1, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. rkm63

    Wanna bet, Nan? LOL Get ready to surrender that gavel!

    October 1, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. stufit

    Sounds scary. She was defiant also about calling those of us who opposed the Obozocare bill names and demeaning, defaming and demonizing us, and with the help of lies and, cheating and bacroom deals she "won." She was able to pull off the biggest theft of money from the American taxpayer and present it to the lying, corrupt, inept, incompetent, union toady president.

    October 1, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Bill in California

    I THINKEST SHE DOST PROTEST TOO MUCH. NANCY,YOU and your ilk have had their 15 minutes of SHAME. Time to go back into hiding until AMERICAN VOTERS forget your shenanigans or become complacent again.

    October 1, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Keith in SoJax

    Right or wrong, this woman is a lighning rod and rather hard to like. One thing the Democrats didn't count on was how much people hated bailing out those big businesses...and she apparently missed that too (or maybe she just didn't care). Sadly there really isn't much difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to welfare and fiscal responsibility. However, I give the Dems the upper hand on Liberty since they want to treat all people with respect whereas the Republicans generally want to give special privledges to Whites (especially flabby, middle aged white dudes like me) and Christains. That said, I wonder if I'll be able to live here for the rest of my life. The USA is being misled by both parties because individual politicians put themeselves ahead of our nation. Unless we change the rewards, we're crazy to expect a change in results! We see the Radical Right in the Tea Party, the Radical Left exists too (though they are less visible right now), but where's the Radical center? I guess we aren't radical enough.

    October 1, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. John Bacon

    Anyone who thinks that Obama is doing a great job is either too young to know better, has not been paying attention, or is truly stupid.

    October 1, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    Things are turning around from 8 years of GOP mismanagement.

    Don't listen to the GOP doom-and-gloomers! They're lying to you! They called us terrorists when we opposed Bush's so-called policies which were illegal. We were told we were siding with the terrorists if we said anything against the president.

    Guess what? The GOP are saying bad things about the president, so they're siding with the terrorists.

    The GOP want to destroy the middle-class. That's obvious. The Democrats are the only ones wanting to help America and Americans. They are the true red-white-and-blue patriots.

    October 1, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Keith in SoJax

    Those of you opposed to the health care bill may I ask, why the extraordinary passion? Do you prefer a private, non-competitive, insurance based Health Care Oligarchy (what we have now)? What about how we already end up paying for the people without insurance that take their kids to the ER for earache and it costs $700 (that we pay for in variety of ways) instead of $70 at a GP? The Dems certainly didn't handle the bill properly, but at least they forced people to pay SOMETHING rather than let everyone else pick up their expenses as described above. I just don't get the irrational (IMO) passion.

    October 1, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Jean-Texas

    It really shows the intellegence of some people when the only arguments they can articulate are wrapped in hate speech. Obozocare, demeaning, defaming demonizing? I don't recall Nancy Peolsi saying ugly things about anyone. However, I do recall all the name calling perpetrated by the Tea Party crowd. The trumped up fear mongering hysteria, over health care reform (bought and paid for by the Billioniare Koch brothers) denied this country of any reasonable debate on the subject. The campaign of fear and misinformation was so rampant it defied explanation, except it was so well ocherestrated by the Kochs via Freedom Foundation run by Dick Armey. No money has been stollen this is more fear mongering. Nancy did the job she was suposed to do. Just like her Republican counterparts did when they held the position.

    October 1, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  16. richard

    if she would only look in the mirror its because of her, the backlash on the right has been unyielding. pelosi you are as fake as HELL you and hillary. when you took over the house the FIRST order of busuness to come out of your mouth was; "their will be NO investigations of the bush admin. now lets turn the tables the republicans are salivating at the thought of when they get you out of their nov 3. the republicans said here we come and the investigations will be relentless.= gridlock and getting nothing done in congress thus lameducking this president for a second term then he's out in 2012. the republicans have plotted this from day one thanks nancy pelosi. and by the way we know that w/ you.......... rahn emanuel could'nt do no wrong even running for mayor in chicago. in my book you need to get in a corner and hide ,you are so fake .

    October 1, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  17. catmom

    Besides being intelligent, hard working and being good at doing her job, I still haven't figured out why Republicans/conservatives/right wing/tea party people hate Nancy Pelosi so much. She has been able to do the job she was appointed to do. She has managed the house better than Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay and Dennis Hastert. And in my opinion there in lies the problem! She is doing her job as good as if not better than any of her Republican predecessors. I always knew Republicans hate intelligent, assertive, articulate, hard working females. They have been unable to figure out how to use, abuse or manipulate her. That is why they like people like Palin, Bachman, Angle, Brewer, O'Donnell . They can and are manipulated, used and abused by Republican males and are to stupid and gullible to see it.

    October 1, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. vic, Nashville TN

    Go to CNN election center clear map there with red and blue add the polls numbers do the math result is
    Democrats won’t lose house or senate

    October 1, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. Rickster

    lol...Pelosi is a certified loon. I can't wait until next January when the The Wicked Witch of the West has to hand over the gavel to someone sane. I'm sure it will have to be explained to her several times why she can't keep it. Hopefully it won't be long after that when she climbs on her broom and flies away for good.

    October 1, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Oy Vey Az

    If Republicans take control of the House of Representatives we will all have more on our miserable plates to worry about than the Speaker of the House.

    October 1, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. michaelam

    Get 'em Nancy! I wish other Democrats in both the House and Senate had even half the amount of passion, courage, and brains that you possess! Fire up the base, get out the vote!, and keep the Orange boy out!

    October 1, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  22. dmrci

    I can't wait to see her eat her words. She obviously is out of touch with reality and must have botox in the brain. Come on November!

    October 1, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. mj

    Don't Judge? – "We have to pass it before we know what is in it!!!????" This woman has no clue to what is going on in this great Country. What a disgrace to her own party. Those in support – Good Luck with all your "Entitlements" and Government "Freebies". November can not come soon enough.

    October 1, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Donnatella

    Don't worry Nancy we are coming out in force to make sure that John Boehner is not speaker of the house, that would be a nightmare for this country we cannot let that happen. Get out and vote people it's time that we let these teabaggers know that we are not impressed with them at all.

    October 1, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. fred

    Get a load of "stuffit". while criticizing pelosi for name calling and demeaning, he lets loose with lies, made up facts and such words as obozocare. what an idiot.

    October 1, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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