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. barbara

    "We have begun the work of remaking America"...in my image (this according to th eman who would be King. I am getting used to being poor where once I was considered working poor. i write here today and wonder what I will eat between now and Friday when I get paid. I have not mismanaged my income, I have just been taxed to death and the cost of survival has risen. Once I was able to shop at Walmart, then I had to shop at the Dollar Tree and now I can not shop at all. Thank God I have my parents that have no problem feeding me. i do not hold out any hope for real change. I am right where Obama wanted me. I am now under his control. I can not possible afford to do anything without his help. Welcome to my nightmare.

    April 29, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Kurt C.

    Nancy Pelosi is lying when she says she has tried to reach out. This administration and this group of Democrats have been the most partisan we have ever seen.

    April 29, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. George Arlington, TX.

    The republican party is out of touch with the working class ( I hate the word Class) people. They suck up to the big spenders just to get elected.

    April 29, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. james miller

    The past administration of Neo-Con Zealots have left the Republican Party in shambles ( what`s left of it ) ------ That will be Bush`s legacy and his place in history.

    April 29, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. smiff

    Yes lets take advise from the fox on how best to gaurd the henhouse...by all means.....sign up today. Admitting they are the party of the environment, fairness, and individual rights says a mouthfull about her party.

    April 29, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Kevin in MA

    I find it very interesting that Ms Pelosi wants a strong opposition party. I think that having a strong Republican party would be a very good thing for the country. It seems that the far left is in charge and the far right is in denial and could care less about what happens to America. We need someone or some thing to pull the country back to the majority center. The proposal on the table now ($20T in debt in 10 years) is just plain crazy. The far right offers nonsense and gets us to the same place. we need a federal government that levels that playing field for all us and enacts policies that are effective in this time. The last administration pushed us back 100 years, we need to recover from that and then move foward

    April 29, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Al, CA

    Pelosi is correct. GOP is taken over by extremists (and street-smart profiteers), who rely on over-religious and under-educated 20% of population. But this part of population will hopefully continue to shrink, if education improves.

    April 29, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Nathan,

    Why don't Pelosi worry about the Democrats and tlet the Republicans go the way of Braniff Airlines.

    April 29, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Rick

    Anyone with half a brain knows that with Nancy it is "my way or the highway".
    Boehner was being polite in his response.

    April 29, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Zac, Atlanta

    I remember when Obama went and had 6 closed door meetings with the Republicans on the stimulus. And then when he went to them with the budget, and asked the Republicans to go through it with a fine toothed comb, they ignored it, and counter-proposed some pretty graphics and fancy looking graphs instead.

    So much for "not trying" to reach across the aisle.

    April 29, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Bob in Pa

    To Nancy, a radical right wing faction is any group who is armed with common sense.

    April 29, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Maybe she could be a Democrat and not a Socialist.

    April 29, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. Proud DHS radical

    And when we take back our party and the majority again in 2010, let's indict Ms. Pelosi and have her testify as to what she really knew and authorized in regards to water boarding. Oh! and let's take a government jet away from her.

    April 29, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Mississippi Mike

    Thanks, we love taking advice from the forces trying to destroy us. Your definition of "...protecting the environment. The party of individual rights. The party of fairness," and our definitions of the same things coulnd't be more different. We believe in protecting the environment but also using it to benefit humans, unlike liberal enviro-zealots. Fairness to us means equal treatment not a guarantee of equal outcomes. To us, individual rights means freedom to speak, believe and live how you want, not having political correctness forced on us to the point where we can't say anything without being accused of being a hater.

    In short, take your advice and file it in the trash can madame Pelosi.

    April 29, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Bev - NYC

    Did she say this with a straight face? Please do not offer the Bitter Party of No any further advice, let them pout in peace. Identify moderate Republicans to work with, let them know democrats will have their back when the frat boys Boehner & Cantor come after them. Republicans Senators and Representatives should be reminded their loyalty is to the people who elected them not to
    Mr. Boehner. The Republican party old guards are now in blind rage mode, they no longer care that they are hurting the very party they profess to love. They continue to lose election, long standing member switch side and they still don't get it.

    April 29, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. George

    Nancy got this one right. Republicans, demand that your repersentatives EARN their pay. They are now pouting like little kids
    and doing nothing. Nancy is right. TAKE BACK YOUR PARTY.
    Tell RUSH to ZIP IT!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Roy

    Power for both of the crooked partys swings back and forth over the years. This is nothing new. Have you noticed how many Democrats have suddenly coming up with not paying their taxes, and other criminal charges. Its whoever in charge. This will change and suddenly everyone will hate the Democrats.

    April 29, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Tom Paine

    No one asked you, Pelosi. Worry about your own party that's driving the country off a cliff.

    April 29, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Brad

    Wow. I agree with Pelosi for once.

    April 29, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Mel

    I have made fun of Republicans calling them right wing-nuts, but that term is really for folks like Rush and his disciples. We were hoping to see the party purge itself of those who in the name of religion are holding the party hostage, and there are some cowardly politicians who seem to be willing to sell their souls to the devil to gain the support of these so called "moral majority", when a great number of them are from another place, and simply hiding out in a religious garb.

    April 29, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. KC

    Sure she tried....bull! That woman is only about that woman. She does nothing for this country that she won't benefit from personally. As a female in the country I am embarassed that she is the "ranking" female in politics. Vote her out already.....I'm tired of lectures and tirades and the fact that she does not - I repeat - does not relate to or represent the average American. She doesn't have a clue what it means to be the average American.

    April 29, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. realist

    Nancy: you are so full of it

    April 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. KMAN

    To hell with reaching out to an ignorant 21% of the population!

    April 29, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. OldUncleTom

    We do have a 2-party system here in America. However, nothing in the rules says that one of them has to be the GOP, and somebody needs to tell them that.

    Limbaugh, Hannity, and the like can have huge audiences, and still only resonate with 10% of the people... we are a very big country.

    April 29, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Peter E

    I say democrats should take back their own party too! From Pelosi! She's been running Congress as if SHE was elected president. She needs to shut up and go back to San Francisco! We don't need her hippy liberal agenda!

    April 29, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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