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. Dave

    I've been saying for years that this GOP is not the same as they used to be. You think Teddy Roosevelt, one of the most stalwart Republicans and ultimately the founder of the PROGRESSIVE Party would be in the same league as Rush Limbaugh? Forget it. The GOP has long been dead....almost all of them are Neocons.

    April 29, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Jim in Florida

    Maybe Pelosi should be getting serious about protecting our border with Mexico. Probably too late though.

    When enough illegals flood the border (as they do daily) carrying swine flu (for which there is no vaccine) the bodies will be piled high for Washington to explain.

    Of course Obama will blame Bush, or maybe he can blame the idiot who approved the Air Force One photo-op in NYC. You know, the flyover that most of the Federal Government was aware of but that plum escaped the attention of Obama and his inner circle of jack booted thugs.

    April 29, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Bingo in Alabama

    The extreme left wing Speaker, who is so far removed from main stream America that she may not even be on the same continent, is advising the Republican Party about extremists? Look in the mirror, ma'am!

    April 29, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Rose

    Give me a break, Pelosi trying to reach out to the republicans? Is that why she meets behind closed doors all the time. Her remarks just make things worse. She belittles the republicans and says she tries to be bipartisan. She sets quite an example. When some of the things she has pushed through comes back to bite her in the behind she will find some way to blame the republicans. It's all yours now Pelosi, if you fail then you take the fall.

    April 29, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Leslie W.

    I seriously doubt if she "hasn't tried." From the outside looking in, it seems as if the Republicans have been too busy whining to actually TRY to work with the Dems in the House.

    They've been relaxing on the beach – meanwhile, letting Limbaugh & Hannity spew their crap all over the place. It's the party of a joke! No one's taking them seriously as a Grand Old Party anymore. There's nothing Grand about them anymore. They're bitter, angry & cynical about losing the White House and becoming the Minority.

    Get over it! You lost the election, now move on and get some work done!!!!

    April 29, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Enlightened Voter

    Very honorable of you Nancy however the rethuglicans have moved past right wing, they are at the fanatical stage. They won't listen, they are fanatics who don't listen to reason.

    April 29, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Candy West Virginia

    Republicans take note, when the opposition tells you that you need to get it together, they need you, you should listen. That was very big of Nancy Pelosi because the republicans have not offered the dems one positive note since they lost shamefully the last election. The party of no has proven they care very little about the people, only about the party. Thank you Speaker of the House for those kind words.

    April 29, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. j

    As an old-line moderate Republican, I`d love to see the moderates retake the party`s helm. ----- The zealots running the party now have driven me to the Democrats and I`m much more comfortable there. But I long for my old party.

    April 29, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Ron in Texas

    Frankly, I would like to take back my money from Nancy's backrrom tax deals. Forget taking back party affiliation. When can I expect my pro-rata taxes for her support of all these 2009 tax increases?

    April 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Kansan

    The party NO movement, NO innovation, NO new ideas, NO help, NO empathy, NO freedom, NO to education, NO to health care, NO to 21st century energy are becoming the Party Of "are you kidding?"

    Republicans on the hill are dinosaurs that are far detatched from the real world around them. They dug their own hole and have put themselves on the brink of extinction....don't let the doors hit you in the fanny on the way out grandpa's, they need some 21st century thinkers in there if they ever want to regain their party back in the game.

    April 29, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Independent

    Repubs get your act together we need check and balances not hate and partisanship

    April 29, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Frank

    Only Republicans would say that Democrats haven't tried to reach out. I guess the President going to Capitol Hill to meet with republicans wasn't trying. I guess the President meeting with Conservative columnist wasn't trying. Get a clue GOP. Stop being the Party of No, and the Party of No inclusion, and the Party of Irrelevance.... Uh on second thought, keep up the Good work.

    April 29, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Mike in MN

    What a joke. Pelosi telling the Republicans what their party should look like is like Limbaugh telling the Democrats what theirs should look like. Why would she care?
    The Republicans do not have the votes to prevent the Democrats from doing what they want. I would think Pelosi would like that. If the current Republican party is as out of touch as she seems to believe, than in 2010 is stands to reason that the Republicans would lose even more seats in Congress.
    Is she scared that all the out of control spending and dangerous unsustainable deficts and the eventual bankrupting of America will all eventually be blamed on spending bills written by only Democrats and voted for by only Democrats? Looks to me like she wants cover so that when things go bad the public won't just blame Democrats. The Rhino days are gone in the Republican party, there will be no cover for the Democrats out of control and reckless spending. Unless Pelosi is willing to work with true conservative Republicans and compromise on scaled down policies that will both work and can be paid for, there will be no yes votes from Republicans. The Democrats will live or die based on their big spending goverment and the Republicans will rise or fall on the same. LOL to Obama, Pelosi and Reid. I have seen no legislation that a true fisicaly responsible conservative Republican can vote for. No Republicans are ever going to vote for spending bills that will bankrupt America. If Democrats want to work with Republicans, they will have to change course to fisical responsiblity, other wise this economic disaster in the making is all theirs.

    April 29, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. TheTruthHurts

    Repubs better get their act together. It's getting worse by the day. I agree with Pelosi. I know many, many well meaning Republicans and most see Boehner and Cantor as stooges. Not because they are fiscally conservative, but because of how they approach resolving problems. They don't care for Pelosi/Reid either though.

    April 29, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Fred the Moderate

    Nancy has a lot of it right. The republican party has been hijacked by rush, hannaty, coliter and others bent on radicalizing them to the point that no one can tolerate their stand. They will be laughed at in the world and made fun of on late night talk shows. The Democrates have a far left, middle left and center left. I fall in the moderate catagory. The republicans are pushing so far to the right they will be a party of 12%. All I ever hear from them is negative! Negative attacks, name calling, silly lableing, no ideas and the word NO, No, No constantly.

    There use to be republicans I respected, but now I can't support a single idea they have. This is strange and troubling. I might be time for the rise of the independants!

    April 29, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. ron

    Nancy–just 2 words–SHUT UP ! Your giving America a headache

    April 29, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Michael

    Right or wrong it's Nancy's way or the highway.

    April 29, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Thomas5

    It's rather funny hearing a radical left-winger preach about what she perceives as radical right-wing ideology.

    Physician, heal thyself.

    April 29, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. Mari( maybe one of my comments will be posted)

    Indeed! The Extreme-far-right-nuts & so-called-religious-right have hijacked the GOP it happened in 1994. Since then, I have been an Independent.

    The GOP has lost touch with America, which clearly has shifted from the moderate-right ........ to the moderate-left-of-center.

    The proof is in Obama's continued high approval rating of between 62-65%!

    And the dismal low 18-20% of approval for the Grand Old Obstructionist Party.

    April 29, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Democrats have a vested interest in seeing the GOP return to being a moderate group, because they know their current domination of the Senate is not going to last very long ... voters are going to want to bring balance back, unfortunately they expect that the next crop of GOP will likely be far more conservative and inflexible group.

    April 29, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. Super MOD

    Wow. I actually agree with her.

    April 29, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Bill in California

    BELIEVE ME, BOTH PELOSI AND REID are old enough to know that politics is cyclable. The tide will eventually turn just as sure as the surf will come to shore. So save whatever well intentioned advice for your own party and enjoy your short romp. Once the bills come due and the loss of freedoms so enjoyed by Americans are lost you will need it.

    April 29, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. J.P.

    Sweetie, enjoy the next 18 months. The tsunami that will sweep you out of office in 2010 will make 1994 look like the ripple of a pebble tossed in puddle.

    April 29, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Check Yourself

    Wow....just, wow! Please, get down off your high horse Pelosi, you pontificating megalomaniac...

    April 29, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. LIP

    "Take back what's left of your party" after Pelosi, Dodd and Frank did their very best to destroy it and were apparently largely successful.
    Remember Nancy said on several occasiona that she would destroy George W. Bush and the Republicans and when Bush tried to get oversight for the banks, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd laughed at him (see Utube videos) and said it wasn't necessary. These three Democrats pulled off one of the biggest scams on the American public ever and it looks like they got away with it if Nancy can make statements like this without blinking an eye.
    I'm guessing the Republicans will have to borrrow the Democrats play book to be successful again.

    April 29, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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