Former speaker to current speaker: 'Figure it out'
December 12th, 2012
03:12 PM ET
2 years ago

Former speaker to current speaker: 'Figure it out'

Washington (CNN) - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who handed over the House speaker's gavel to Republican John Boehner two years ago, suggested he follow her lead when faced with intra-party division and "figure it out."

Asked whether Boehner should be willing to put his speakership on the line to get a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill, "That's what we all take the job to do - to risk it for something, not to just sit in the office."

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Pelosi recounted the challenge she faced shortly after she was elected speaker in 2007 and faced intense pressure from Democratic supporters to move legislation to end the war in Iraq. She credited Democratic opposition to the war as a main factor for her ascension into the post.

Facing a Republican president - George W. Bush - who made it clear he would block any efforts by Congress to force a withdrawal or defund the war, Pelosi said she was forced to come up with a way to get legislation through the House to ensure funding for the troops wasn't cut off.

"It's tough, but you have to do it," Pelosi said, explaining that she devised a strategy to hold multiple votes on Iraq legislation so that those Democrats who opposed the Bush administration's policy could go on the record against it, but the troops fighting in Iraq would still get funding to keep the war effort going.

"Figure it out. We did. Figure it out," Pelosi said.

Alienating some members of your own party comes with the territory as speaker of the House, Pelosi argued, noting the Iraq vote "was very unpopular and I have to tell you I'm not sure I ever recovered among some in the left for that."

"I believe he is a person of good intention," Pelosi said of Boehner, saying she hopes her compliment doesn't get him in trouble with the GOP, adding "he knows his responsibility to the country." The former speaker urged Boehner look to her example to come up with a way to bring up a measure that would ultimately renew the tax cuts for the middle class.

"It's painful, but it's the job he signed up for," Pelosi said.


Filed under: John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. ST

    There is no easy job and it becomes even more tougher if a person is a leader. Boehner needs not to be told this!

    December 12, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Now Hospitals are robbing this nation....,watch out.

    December 12, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. WiredweirdinSF

    For those of you new to this page, you will find it inhabited by the kind of people that attack Jenna Bush for being pregnant and cheer on the corrupt union thugs as they assault and destroy the property of those who disagree with them. You know democrat liberals, dope addicts and welfare frauds. All very vicious, very mean, don't work, don't pay taxes, the kind Obozo can lie to and they believe him.

    December 12, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. v_mag

    The Repugs need to remember that their party is GOP, not GOD. They are far from omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. They need to cave in now and avoid total self-deportation to political purgatory.

    December 12, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. LakeErie

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

    December 12, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Madam Leader has bigger cojones than this failed Speaker. 2014 can't get here fast enough so we can get the gavel out of Boehner's hands and back into Nancy's.

    December 12, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Bob

    WiredweirdinSF

    For those of you new to this page, you will find it inhabited by the kind of people that attack Jenna Bush for being pregnant and cheer on the corrupt union thugs as they assault and destroy the property of those who disagree with them. You know democrat liberals, dope addicts and welfare frauds. All very vicious, very mean, don't work, don't pay taxes, the kind Obozo can lie to and they believe him.

    -----------------------------------------–

    Someone throw that monkey a banana and get him away from the keyboard.

    December 12, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. simp

    @wiredweirdinsf

    What a bunch of hate sprewed words that mad no sense at all. Apparently you are just on this blog to sprew out your angry, stupid remarks that makes no sense at all. nest time maybe you should write down what you want sprew out before you blog it, what an idiot

    December 12, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    WiredweirdinSF

    For those of you new to this page, you will find it inhabited by the kind of people that attack Jenna Bush for being pregnant and cheer on the corrupt union thugs as they assault and destroy the property of those who disagree with them. You know democrat liberals, dope addicts and welfare frauds. All very vicious, very mean, don't work, don't pay taxes, the kind Obozo can lie to and they believe him.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Pot, meet kettle. That being said, I went through the entire Jenna Bush thread and not a single post "attacked" her. If you would stop projecting for five minutes and actually read the posts on that thread you would be enlightened by the positive comments from those you're attacking. You know "democrat liberals, dope addicts and welfare frauds. All very vicious, very mean, don't work, don't pay taxes".

    December 12, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. John the Historian

    Republicans only have a majority because of gerrymandering. Their days are now numbered. The 1950s are over. They need to watch the movie Pleasantville. The party of bonuses for Wall Street, wars of choice for the military-industrial complex, tax cuts for the billionaires, and false promises of a theocracy to the Christian Right are over. I can't wait for the Republican ticket of Santorum/Bachmann in 2016. Victory for true democracy.

    December 12, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. Rick McDaniel

    Memo to former speaker..............you screwed up enough, now let someone more responsible get the job done, better.

    December 12, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Larry in Houston

    LOL – - after reading the article – Nancy sounds like she's going to get the gavel back, in 2014 – I hope she does, for the goodness of this country – She's done more things, passed more things, legislative wise – then the bonehead sitting in his office. Pathetic, I tell ya, truely pathetic.

    December 12, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. Larry in Houston

    LOL – – after reading the article – Nancy sounds like she's going to get the gavel back, in 2014 – I hope she does, for the goodness of this country – She's done more things, passed more things, legislative wise – then the bonehead sitting in his office.I mean, at least she's got some Spine, and HAS gone against her OWN , according to the article. Pathetic, I tell ya, truely pathetic – I hate to be a bearer of bad tidings, but the bonehead truely needs to go back to ohio, get back into his brother's restaurant / bar business, and put ON that Apron, that has been hanging on the wall, in that kitchen, with his name on it.

    December 12, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Keeping it Real

    You have to understand something about Democrats. Each and every last one of them faces an existential threat to their political careers if they do not oppose tax decreases. A miserable existence, I know. Washing the feet of the rich and powerful sounds like a twisted idea of fun, or a nightmare of a job career. Take your pick.

    So, why punish themselves and become Democrats in the first place?

    Credit: Rudy NYC for the original version with my revisions. The history of Democrats seems to elude him.
    ---------------------------------
    Nice re-write job. I suggest you read it again. It actually defends opposing tax decreases on the rich, by pointing out that the alternative is a miserable existence earned by washing someone's feet.

    December 12, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    ST

    There is no easy job and it becomes even more tougher if a person is a leader. Boehner needs not to be told this!
    --------------

    Obviously he DOES!! We are in a results oriented world and the bottom line is RESULTS. The DEMS took hard votes on the war in Iraq and tough vote on Obamacare. They paid a price for that, but Pelosi figured it out and got the votes she needed. We need results!!

    December 12, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. freedom

    They way she and the democrats "figure it out" is to play dirty. Bribes, threats, blackmail, manipulation. That's how they win elections too. No integrity or honesty.

    December 12, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. 2012liberal

    Must b breaking news from fixed noise 4 @guryl 2 post something from left field. Faux must b trying 2 put blame on hospitals 4 republican govenors that arent expanding medicaid 4 their states under aca.

    December 12, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. California Gary

    Great post Bob.......and much kinder than what I was about to say.

    December 12, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    WiredweirdinSF

    For those of you new to this page, you will find it inhabited by the kind of people that attack Jenna Bush for being pregnant and cheer on the corrupt union thugs as they assault and destroy the property of those who disagree with them. You know democrat liberals, dope addicts and welfare frauds. All very vicious, very mean, don't work, don't pay taxes, the kind Obozo can lie to and they believe him.
    ----------------------------
    i think the language filter on your web browser is defective. At the time of your original posting, there was not one comment attacking Jenna Bush. I posted one remark myself wishing that her grandfather sees the great grandkid.

    But, you're the expert on verbal attacks. It seems to the only "tool" you know how to use. Good luck tying your shoes.

    December 12, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Larry in Houston

    hey wiredwierdinSF – – LOL – are You Lost ? where ARE YOU in Life ? I'm drawing my pension from MANUFACTURING from 28 yrs – AND on TOP of THAT , I've got a small part time Business – with 3 girls working for me – HOW ABOUT YOU ??

    CNN Please Post this.

    December 12, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. michael

    CNN, where is the indepth reporting on raising taxes on the rich! We had the CBO and CRS say that raising taxes on the rich will not be detrimental and confirms President Obama's approach will help this economy. Also, when President Obama took over the GDP was -9% and now 2.7% which is a 12% turnaround! President Obama's economic policies are working! Where is the reporting!
    Take a look at National Debt by president. 42% increase under Carter. 188.6% increase under Reagan. 55.6 % increase under Big Bush. 35% increase under Clinton. 89% increase under little Bush. 41% under Obama. Anyone else figure out that both Parties SPEND like crazy? Now, on top of that lets cut taxes! A perfect recipe to sink our country. President Obama...who by the way...Increased spending 15.9% his first year in office. 15.1% in his second year, followed by 13.9%, and 7.8%. This year was an increase of 4.8%. A 4.8% increase is the smallest % increase since Clinton....who is the only recent president to have a surplus.
    CRS Report: "Throughout the late-1940s and 1950s, the top marginal tax rate was typically above 90%; today it is 35%. Additionally, the top capital gains tax rate was 25% in the 1950s and 1960s, 35% in the 1970s; today it is 15%. The real GDP growth rate averaged 4.2% and real per capita GDP increased annually by 2.4% in the 1950s. In the 2000s, the average real GDP growth rate was 1.7% and real per capita GDP increased annually by less than 1%. There is not conclusive evidence, however, to substantiate a clear relationship between the 65-year steady reduction in the top tax rates and economic growth. Analysis of such data suggests the reduction in the top tax rates have had little association with saving, investment, or productivity growth. However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution. The share of income accruing to the top 0.1% of U.S. families increased from 4.2% in 1945 to 12.3% by 2007 before falling to 9.2% due to the 2007-2009 recession.

    December 12, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Hey weirdinSF, no one is bad-mouthing Jenna. But we are all wondering how it came to be that after Bush screwed America, it was his daughter who got pregnant!!!! If that's not a red-state "mission accomplished", I don't know what is!!

    Oh wait, let me lift my boot off your neck, just to tell you I'm soooo very sorry that you lost the election...

    December 12, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. RomneyWho

    who spent us into two unpaid for wars and tax cuts for the rich with no revenue insight to make up the difference? Who Boehner, who? When there is a recession it has always been the government's job to keep the economy afloat until the private sector can fly by itself. This time, is a bit deferent because the greedy 2% no longer make things they raid and loot companies then outsource the gut of the work overseas, downsized, discharged then over charged their unemployed customer and just set on their prophets? Until they (republican leadership plutocrat masters) step up and start doing their fair share, the government will have to keep spending to keep things from falling apart. Next!

    December 12, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. DumbasRocks [R]s

    WOW! Boehner sure is having a bad week. First, Obama tears Boner's legs off for the purpose of hitting him over the head with his own dismembered limbs. Then Pelosi come along, looks at the bloody mess, and decides to give Boner a break by kicking him in the nads.

    God, it sure is GOOD to be a Dem these days. We set a trap for the unsuspecting Reps, they see the trap (darn!), but then lo-and-behold they are proving to be too dumb to avoid the trap anyway!!! Low IQs gravitate to today's Rep party like flies to crap.

    December 12, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Keven

    WiredweirdinSF

    For those of you new to this page, you will find it inhabited by the kind of people that attack Jenna Bush for being pregnant and cheer on the corrupt union thugs as they assault and destroy the property of those who disagree with them. You know democrat liberals, dope addicts and welfare frauds. All very vicious, very mean, don't work, don't pay taxes, the kind Obozo can lie to and they believe him.
    **************************************************************************************************
    So, I've noticed. And to think these Democrats preach all the time they are the party of "tolerance" and "understanding". Yeah, maybe in their own minds.

    December 12, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
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