April 29th, 2009
02:14 PM ET
13 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. jane in wi

    The Republican Party is the "...party of individual rights..."??? I think NOT! Anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-women's equal pay for equal work! They are the farthest party for individual rights.

    April 29, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Jimmy the Greek

    Hey Nancy (Enforcing Immigration Laws is UnAmerican) Pelosi,

    Our party (GOP) is doing some house-cleaning.

    However you should be more concerned with YOUR actions. When Americas begin to realize the damage you and your socialist friends are doing to this country and you'll be BOOTED as we take our Country back!

    April 29, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. james

    the democrats have tried to reach across the aisle. what the republican want, for the dems to concede on every issue? The american people spoke by electing a majority in the democratic party, so the republicans need to realize that they don't have bushy any more and act like adults.

    April 29, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Too True For You

    This time, Pelosi is right.

    April 29, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Well said Madam Speaker.

    April 29, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    She is an extremist liberal Democrat and she talks about rights and fairness, that is beyond comical.

    The republican party will continue to be the anti-lib party. Republicans will always stand for fairness, integrity, decency, courtasy, personal responsibility, and for every American to enjoy all of their rights no matter what their views are. In other words the opposite of the Democratic hate party.

    April 29, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Obama-mama

    Pelosi's gone in the next election. Same with Reid, and Dodd...if possible, Obama will be ousted by then too. It all boils down to competency, and they have none. Unfortunately, hard working conservatives were asleep at the wheel, having confidence that enough slackjawed liberals wouldn't vote in such a disaster. We'll it occurred, but is repairable. Next elections will be a landslide in favor of conservatives.

    April 29, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Who's Spain

    Why is it we never hear of the radical left wing like ACORN, moveon.org, Willaim Ayers ect.....

    April 29, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. shucks

    The people who voted for change understand what the current republican party stands for, and if changes aren't made it will stand for nothing. It is already close to that now. The people who voted for change will not accept anything less. We will keep the republican party crawling on it's belly like the snake it has become.

    April 29, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    Just call it like it is, the GOP is full of racist, fear mongers. Their pushing the good republicans out b/c they agree with normal people. If you get along with people in the real world, they run you out of that party and gets someone who agrees with all their negative crap. So keep up the B/S you idiots, it will be along time before you nut cases are in power again, B/C the country is changing from the "Nation of fear "

    April 29, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Ryan Wing

    The Republican party has become a sinking ship with backwards thinking people like Limbaugh at the helm. The only way they win elections is by dividing, being cruel and, dare I say it, hypocritical. In this way its a numbers game, can they get more of the smaller percentage of Republicans to vote by making them outraged.

    People like Megan McCain who see the Republican party as more than just opposition to gay marriage, abortion, and everything Obama says or does – those are the Repuclicans that can take the party back to what it was.

    Ultimately, if the Republicans can restore civility to the conversation (they are largely the drain) they will lose elections in the short term but will win in the long haul.

    April 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. carlo

    They should listen to Pelosi. We do need a two party system for America's vitality and freshness of ideas. What the Republicans are doing is hurting the entire political system. They have absolutely no ideas, and listening to Boehner gives me a headache. The only person who disturbs me more is Bachman.

    April 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Dawn

    Well when Lincoln became the very first Republican, he was for the people, now they are so far right that they are somewhere out in the wilderness. They should not be working for themself, but the people they reprisent. They say the American people don't...my Senator just jumped ship and became a Democrat.

    They need to Grow up and look out for the people of their States....

    April 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. Kriss Inverness

    Miss P, why are you concerned with republicans? We all know you hate the conservative philosophy and all who agree with it. Besides, you have the majority and don't need republicans just now, so what's the beef?

    April 29, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Jim In Houston

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

    You forgot to add...."sniff...sniff"..and the ensuing juvenile tantrum to the story...

    April 29, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Jennie

    Ms. Pelosi – maybe the republicans like being close-minded and intollerant bigots?

    April 29, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |

    Let the "normal" conservatives take back the GOP from the rethuglicants AFTER we get health care reform, financial industry regulation and a meaningful energy policy from the dems...

    April 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. sean

    Hypocrisy, thy name is you

    April 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. lizard

    Did she ever think that the democrats across the country have tried to reach across the aisle a little bit harder than they have on Capitol Hill.

    She really needs to keep her mouth shut with all the issues in California. Both the democrats and republicans have ruined this state with their spending (democrats) and their capitulation (republicans).

    Let's face it. We still have "taxation without representation" in this country. None of these politicians have the faintest clue what is going on with the normal working class American and they act like they don't care.

    The middle class gets the shaft as always.

    Betty Dieterle
    Fontana, CA

    April 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Angela

    It's obvious that the Republicans think they are appealing to their base by digging in their heels at any suggestions from Pelosi and other Democrats. But the percent of the electorate that finds such resistance appealing is nowhere near enough to get them a majority again.

    April 29, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Willow, Iowa

    If the GOP would indeed "take back their party", one wouldn't be so scared that they would win an election. Right now, they are the party of eccentric right wing nuts. (Bachmann is a good point in case). My parents were Republicans and my Mom's favorite politician was Reagan. Neither of my parents, nor any of their fiscally conservative friends ever said any of the things I am hearing lately on the news. They were logical, honest and moral. They believed in states rights, but also believed in individual rights, also the "rights of the minority must be protected." What I have been hearing lately is a shame. The GOP used to be something to be proud of. Not anymore.

    April 29, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. SLM

    Who is proud to say they voted for either Pelosi or Reid? Ofcourse Republicans are hard for her to deal with, they can't sign on to waste tax payer dollars like she can. Can't anyone figure out that the Democrats are NOT the party of the working man, they want to tax the working man and waste it on programs. Look at the mess California is in and the higher taxes we are all paying because of Pelosi and her bunch of Liberal spenders.

    April 29, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. Kevin in Ohio

    Don't worry, nancy, we'll do just that..... and you can keep your Change...and Specter too.

    April 29, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Jimmy Boy

    Repubs need to dig out all the old dead wood and replace it with a younger and more diverse team. I am not a lib, but I wish the repubs would focus on what is best for the country and not the party. Come to think of it, maybe we need to outlaw all parties as they tend to create division and inefficiencies/waste.

    April 29, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Michael

    I, for one, long for a Republican Party in the mold of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. The Gingrich/Steele/Limbaugh/Boehner/Cheney crowd is a pathetic lot that doesn't represent the best in America.

    April 29, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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