April 29th, 2009
02:14 PM ET
14 years ago

Pelosi tells Republicans to 'take back their party'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/05/art.pelosi0305.gi.jpg caption="The California Democrat offered her own analysis of the political environment for her political opponents, asserting Republicans across the country are more willing to work with Democrats than their leaders on Capitol Hill."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Speaker Nancy Pelosi marked President Obama's 100 days in office with some unsolicited advice to Republican voters: "take back your party."

The California Democrat offered her own analysis of the political environment for her political opponents, asserting Republicans across the country are more willing to work with Democrats than their leaders on Capitol Hill.

"Yes, there is, shall we say – a 'radical right-wing' element with whom they identify. But by and large, I say to Republicans in America: take back your party. The party of protecting the environment. The party of individual rights. The party of fairness. This is not the Grand Old Party."

Pelosi concluded her long riff about the GOP by saying, "our country needs a strong diverse Republican party." Without missing a beat, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chimed in, saying "not too strong."

As Pelosi, Reid and other Democratic leaders ticked off a list of legislative accomplishments passed largely without GOP support, the Speaker insisted she's tried to reach out to Republicans in Congress, but said it hasn't been easy.

Updated after the jump

Republicans in the House of Representatives "are difficult to deal with, let's put it that way," Pelosi said.

Asked about Pelosi's dig, House Republican Leader John Boehner, Ohio, responded curtly that "she hasn't tried."

UPDATE: Congressional Republicans said thanks, but no thanks, to Pelosi's advice. "While we appreciate her concern, we probably wouldn't hire the most liberal Democratic Speaker of the House in history to be a strategist for the Republican Party," said Kevin Smith, spokesman for House Republican leader John Boehner. "House Republicans will continue to show the American people that we are the party of better solutions, for example by offering a fiscally-responsible budget that curbs spending, creates jobs, and controls debt, as opposed to the budget the Democrats passed today, which taxes too much, spends too much, and borrows too much from our kids and grandkids."

Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Republicans
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Jackie in Dallas

    Boehner means that she hasn't caved into to the unreasonable requests of the Republicans in power. Why should she? If they aren't willing to come to the table with new ideas, practical solutions, and real compromise, why would she bother when she has a majority leadership in the House, the Senate is Democratic, and we have a Democratic President. Did Boehner offer any compromises to the Democrats during their reign of terror? Think not...!

    April 29, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. Darko

    They are. It began yesterday with Spector's defection. He's their problem now.

    April 29, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Independent_me

    She is right.
    The people who pay the salaries of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and other right-wing extremists are responsible for destroying the Republican Party.

    April 29, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. David

    John Boehner: in denial.

    Michael Steele: in denial.

    Mitch McConnell: in denial.

    Arlen Specter: dealt with reality.

    The Republican party isn't what it used to be. If they weren't so close-minded and divisive on social issues and so negligent on the environment, I would be a moderate Republican instead of a left-leaning independent.

    April 29, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Andrew, Buffalo NY

    I think Pelosi should be telling the people of San Fran to take their govt back! How can they elect this lady to office? She is the biggest problem we have with government today. One day she knows about the torture and approves of it's use the next she deny's it.

    To the People of San Fran, she is making you all look REALLY DUMB!

    April 29, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. WeThePeople

    The current Republican party is NOT about responsible budget that curbs spending, creates jobs, and controls debt.

    Unfortunately the social conservative fundamentalists in control of the Republican party seem to ignore separation of church and state. And THAT is the main problem.

    The President , Senators and House place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. They do NOT place their hand upon the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.

    It would probably be easier to just start a "new" Republican party and leave the social conservative fundamentalist crowd in the dust.

    April 29, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. bill

    Ms Pelosi,

    With all due respect, I will take Nancy Pelosi's criticism as a badge of honor.

    Sen Specter left to save his own political skin and admitted as much.

    Republicans are the party defending the constituion against people like you who want to legislate every piece of our lives, from the cars you drive to the temperature we set our thermostats.

    Working with people does not mean bribing someone to go along with what you want. And if you cant find anyone willing to take the bribe you assault them as dead enders because they stick to their values and beliefs. So save me your sad account of your retributted benevolence.

    I hope that I can teach my children what this country used to be about before your absoute power now follows its natural path.

    Dont believe me? FInd me the story of the 3.6 trillion dollar deficit spending Obamas rubber stamoed budget is goingt to create , and that is using his rosey projection of the rebounding economy which just today last 6 % of the GDP. Maybe could have fit it in between the puppy pics story and the one on Obamas favorite book

    Wake up, this is not a game folks, your leadership is in power and trying to convince you that suddenly the unthinkable is now OK and Republicans are bad for fighting Govt ownership of our Banks, Car Companies, Heatlh care. Just ask yourself has the Govt ever reduced the real cost of anything. What tells you this is now a good idea, Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi, come on, you are better than this, think for yourselves.

    April 29, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. nick

    I´m sorry, but didn´´t Boehner submit a 12 page budget devoid of numbers, or how his proposal would pay for his pie-in-sky budget.
    Maybe it was rejected by the Dems, because there was nothing in it for the people .. Tax cuts for the rich,and increased budget for the Defence Dept.[ nothing for Vets]. Great effort John, just what the country needs...

    April 29, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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