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. Don of Iowa

    Even Pelosi like every other American with abrain realizes the GOP is run by nothing more than a bunch of religious right wing christian bigot zealots. I think she is right in calling to the Republican party to take back their party from these hateful and ignorant eneducated masses of hateful bigots. But who do they turn to then? I thin it is too late for the GOP to right itself, instead I see it consistently losing vlidity in the American political scene and becoming nothing more than a note in the history books like the Whigs, something that was but no longer is, and to say I am not upset in the least I think speaks for most of Americans at this time, the GOP has become the black eye of America, the joke of our country and the shame we all must bear for ever giving them the rule of our country which they have almost completely destroyed and left in worse condition than that of the Depression, all I can say is I am glad they are about gone, cannot happen too soon as I am sure more than 80% of Americans now feel.

    April 29, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Nancy you can go away along with the Republicians and take Harry with you. Kettle meet pot.

    April 29, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. DaBird

    Pelosi is a liar or has a bad memory since 4 CIA directors said she is mistaken. Maybe she should worry more about how the tax payers are going to repay the $17 trillion dollar deficit in 2014?

    April 29, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. Joseph

    You own all the decisions now Nancy. I think its great. The Dem's can pass all the laws they want. Which in time will fail. Then maybe this country will get Clinton like and, the Republicans will control the house and Senate. Then Obama will have balance, which will let him truly be a great President. No pressure from the Dem's and no outrageous bills passed by either side. I don't want Obama to fail. I want America to succeed.

    April 29, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Minnesotan

    Yeah, cuz "trying", according to the GOP leadership, would involve Pelosi turning her back on what The People voted the Dems into office to do.... change our country's direction. The GOP wants to have their cake and eat it too. They will only cooperate if they get their way. Well, the people spoke... you lost. You better "work with" the Dems now cuz they're our ELECTED leaders thankyou very much!!! Or, don't listen to Pelosi and just about every other sensible person in our country. Do what you think is best... and we'll all laugh as we watch your party become more and more insignificant. I'd listen to her, she's trying to tell you what's going on cuz you guys are too stubborn and idealogical to see it yourselves.

    April 29, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. JustMe

    Let's get rid of all political parties and elect individuals that will represent their constituent's thoughts and ideas. After all, we are the ones that put them in office. Focus on what is good for the people you represent. Redefining your party does nothing for us.

    April 29, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. mjm

    Sorry Nancy, you went at this alone. Republicans have a hard time supporting your bills because they are very bad ideas. If California is any indication of how successful your ideas are, we are in trouble.

    April 29, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Michael in Houston

    TOO LATE!! Impossible for the republican party to go back to what they once were. They have already sold themselves out lock stock and barrel to the new leaders and voices of their party and we all know their names.
    The party is now the party of arrogance, torture, cheating, occupation, and hate of all others not under their tent. Thats what they created and thats what they get to live with. The rest of the country will move on.
    If Sarah Palin does not reflect just how absurd and how insignficant the republican party is then I dont know what is.

    April 29, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  9. Lesley Anne

    I don't believe Boehner that the dems haven't tried to get their support. When he makes comments like the new bill makes me want to throw up, he sounds like a child having a temper tantrum, not a seasoned well adjusted lawmaker who has the best interests of his country or even his own party at heart. It's guys like this that give repubs a bad name. I picture them stamping their feet on the floor of Congress, saying no, no, no. Try coming up with prudent alternatives!

    April 29, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Jim

    Impeach Pelosi

    April 29, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Kevin, NY

    Nancy Pelosi is a joke, she has to be one of the most power-hungry partisan politicians in the country, all she ever does is boast about herself and lambast the republicans, its people like her in both parties that makes congress such a farce.

    April 29, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. anonimus

    When people like Pelosi are telling Republicans they need to get their stuff together, that's really saying something to the state of disarray that they are truly in

    April 29, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Dave

    Nancy is a skilled politican and pushes the agenda of her constituants. She is definitely a cohesive force for Republicans and will help regenerate forces that oppose the people that she represents. Politics tends to balance itself over time, so the further she pushes the agenda to the left it will swing later to the right. I am not looking for another McCarthy era.

    April 29, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Doug in Seattle

    Anything Nancy Pelosi says about Republicans will only embolden the furthest right in the party to assert even more control. And for that, the GOP is doomed.

    April 29, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. Ken

    And it looks like they are trying to do that. It is a sloppy, awkward start, but by golly if Miss California can manage to mumble her words in incomplete sentences, present specious arguments in a random, rambling flow of consciousness, and show a level of staunch hypocrisy between the policies she suuports and the way she manages her life......she just could be the [R] VP candidate for 2012! Good luck to her.

    April 29, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |

    I agree Republicans Get Back to the Moderate Days!

    April 29, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. matt

    On what initiatives has Pelosi reached out to the Republican party? She wrote the Spendulus Package herself. She and Reid shut out all Republicans, except the turncoats Specter (good riddance), Snowe and Collins, on debate over the Spendulus bill. Pelosi shoved the additional $410B spending bill to "keep the government working" and then stomped her feet when Republicans balked at the price tag. Now, with the help of Reid and passing the "reconciliation" measure in the Senate, there will be next to no debate about government run healthcare.

    So, tell me, where has she tried to reach out to Republicans, other than to shove them out of the way?

    April 29, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Keith in Austin

    Pelosi giving advice to the GOP is like Larry the Cable Guy telling William Shakespear how to author a play. Her days are numbered and the resolve of the GOP will be readily apparent in 2010.

    April 29, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Perry is anti-American

    The only concrete idea to come from Republicans is Secession......... and now the Leader of the Secessionists is asking for more federal assistance..... haha

    April 29, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Dennis

    Pelosi, I'm a California Republican that you're not willing to work with, so shut your mouth. You're a left-wing radical, and I would suggest to the rest of Democrats, take back YOUR party!

    April 29, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Minnesotan

    Republicans: Please continue to further your agenda of failed policies, rampant corruption, ignorance of facts, religious zealotry, hate for others, and greed. They've placed you at the forefront of irrelevancy and extinction, for which, as a nation, we are grateful. Feel free to go softly into that dark, good night.

    April 29, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Scott L

    She approved torture techniques occurring in the future so what credibility does he have? Can't have it both ways Pelosi.

    April 29, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Nancy "yes we won, yes we wrote the bill" Pelosi is nothing but a liar. Ask her what she knew about the Hariman wiretap. First it was nothing, then 2 days later, "oh you mean that wiretap, I was briefed." She must have gone to the Bill Clinton lie until there's evidence against you lecture with fellow alum Christopher "I didn't know anything about the bonuses" Dodd.

    April 29, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Right Leaning Independent

    I say to Americans, take back our government from the likes of Pelosi, Reid and their Republican counterparts. These are the folks that are ruining this great country!!

    April 29, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Jim

    As much as I agree with her I don't think Pelosi should be saying this. She is a polarizing figure by herself. I'd love to see her stay quiet as much as I'd love to see Rush Limbaugh stay quiet.

    April 29, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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