September 17th, 2009
05:51 PM ET
13 years ago

Pelosi gets emotional about political climate

(CNN) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who appears to rank only behind President Obama as a top target of health care reform opponents, grew visibly emotional Thursday when asked to compare the current political climate to that of years past.

"We are a free country and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance," Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill press conference as she appeared to get emotional. "I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this myself in the late 70s in San Francisco.

"This kind of rhetoric was very frightening and it gave - it created a climate in which violence took place and so I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made, understanding the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume," she added.

The California Democrat's image was a popular one among "Tea Party" protesters on Capitol Hill last weekend, used on signs with derogatory messages like "Congress, look what happens from too much pork."

Pelosi reiterated her commitment Thursday to a public option in the House version of the health care bill, a day after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled a compromise bill that lacks the controversial provision.

"A public option will be in the bill that passes the House of Representatives," she said.

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soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Matt

    For Pelosi any opposition to what she thinks is rascist and violent. I don't think there is a more closed off and isolated person in government than her. She is so far out of touch with normal average America its not funny its sad.

    September 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Ken

    If I had an approval rating of 12% among 370 million people I would probably get emotional too! If she puts the public option in the House bill it will be the nail in the coffin on health care reform. Thanks Pelosi for not listening to anything americans have been saying, you by yourself have killed reform.

    September 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    What Speaker Pelosi is hearing is just passionate disagreement with this unprecedented attack on the US Treasury from the current administration and congress. Americans know that Public Option Health Care is just another huge, expensive mistake that doesn't make financial sense at all.

    It's frustrating to see these trillions of taxpayer dollars being thrown at every problem without regard for how it will be paid for. Nobody in Washington is being responsible now except the Bluedog Democrats and the Republicans. It's very straightforward what this is all about.

    September 17, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. mjm

    "understanding the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume," she added."

    Come on, Pelosi. Nobody thinks your balance. If you were, you would listen to the people in the town halls instead of calling them nazis. The public option is a deal breaker.

    Write a better bill.

    By the way, Nazi's were socialists, not capitalists.

    September 17, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Pee Wee

    Well, maybe if she didn't call people exercising their First Amendment rights Nazis and angry violent mobs, the tenor would change.

    September 17, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Steve (the real one)

    You want to see Pelosi get emotional? Have the feds shut the water off to her vineyards, like they did to the hundreds of farmers in Central Cali all because of a little fish!! That placed the farmers and their families out of business and into bread lines. Folks, these are the people that allow us to bring food to our tables! This is going to catch up with us very soon by way of higher prices and a greater reliance on produce from other countries!

    September 17, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. AXH

    Give me a break Nancy!

    Why can you be the only one to call the American public names?

    Get out of the Senate, we don't want you there!
    Stop spending our money and shoving your liberal agenda down our throats!

    September 17, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Bob in Pa

    Balanced?! Freedom and Safety ? What is she talking about ?
    We can all see where this type of talk from a government leads ... the fairness doctorine, martial law, curfews, political prisioners. All for our own safety of course.

    If you don't like it when free people express discontent with poor leadership and bad government decisions you need to step down lady !

    September 17, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Phil

    She is part of the reason for the political climate to be as hot as it is right now. I think the people will get rid of a lot of the career politicians like her when their next re-election bids come up.

    September 17, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Charles

    A call from Nancy Pelosi for moderation and civility? Has she ever listened to herself? She has been one of the most vocal, bitter, and divisive political hacks ever to camp out in Washington.

    September 17, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. yuri

    Freedom feeds fillip and flames of frenzy in a few freak cases, but if it reaches a more feverish frequency, somebody ought to remind those folks to tone down their rhetorical crescendo to a decrescendo level.

    Much to the chagrin of a lot of sane people, these advices fall in deaf ears or flatout fail to be fulfilled. That's when the counter measure creates a conundrum of confrontation between the two congreagations and culminates in a chaotic collision.

    September 17, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Deuce

    So! I suppose she means Barack Obama is not unstable, but the rest of us are? He is the one, who said "I am the One". Who is really unstable??

    September 17, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Pat

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. – John F. Kennedy

    September 17, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. sharon

    Speaker Pelosi is correct in what she has said.
    Those that incisite violence will have to take responsibility for their
    Are "they" prepared to do so?
    Jail is not often thought of a great place to go.

    on the Public option being in the bill that the house passes......yes.!!!

    September 17, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. jaye

    Pelosi is correct.
    This hate filled political climate being generated by the republican party is disgusting...and their 24 hours mouthpiece fox news is the biggest instigaor of all (IMO).
    And CNN is helping fan the flames of hate when they let their talking heads spew the hate and lies on their shows with no proof of what they say.
    The media is destroying our country, and all the hate being spread on news channels will lead to a bad end.

    September 17, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. senior canadian

    As a Canadian I am also very angry at your Republican extremists who
    critizise our Canadain Health Plan.
    Yesterday our Canadian Senator was facing on CNN American Senator(Republican)
    Senator from Wayoming (Sen. Burrasso) arrogantly lies about Canadian Health Insurance.In Canada. We are proud of our Health Insurance where EVERY Canadian has been covered.
    Also our political representatives have the same health coverage not as American Senators and Congressman who got the BEST Health
    coverage of course paid by American taxpayers.Just wonder how some people have no shame to spread LIES in front of millions watching.Canada did not Bancrot because every Canadian has Health Insurance, as this is basic human right of all of us.

    September 17, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    If Nancy Pelosi would quit trying to steal everyone's money in taxes, ruin their kids' financial futures with insane levels of debt, and quit trying to tell people they're too stupid to manage their own health care arrangements, maybe people would stop saying unpleasant things about her.

    This health care thing has transcended mere political philosophy–a lot of people see Pelosi and the far Left as a very real, very personal, threat to their lifestyles. Of course they're going to react strongly and very negatively.

    September 17, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. mike

    Poor Nancy. You have called American citizens as liars, Nazis, astroturf, punks, losers, bums, idiots, pathetic and cheats. I have know respect for you and your stupid statements, and I could care less about your concerns.

    September 17, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. Is Pelosi the Best we can Do?

    Is Nancy Pelosi advocating a curtailment of free speech in order to strike the appropriat balance for safety? Has she been consulting with Dick Cheney, or is she just making her rules as she goes along, with the first order of business being to protect her power rather than to adhere to any set of values or principles???

    September 17, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Enas Yorl created a climate in which violence took place...

    What? You mean like Barak's left-wing terrorist buddy Ayers and others in the Weather Underground Nancy?

    September 17, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Neutralizer

    She's emotional due to the fact she's worried next year she might not be Speaker of the House; that's what it boils down to. Next year, the American people will clean up CULTURE OF CORRUPTION done with IMPUNITY by Democraps. We're taking our country back, you've abused trust and confidence of the American people – we've had it!

    September 17, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. tisgoogle

    You are so right! Let's move ahead of these wingnuts and continue working on the very important issues we are facing in this country!

    Lets stand behind the President with respect!

    September 17, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Well here is a rare moment, I agree with Rep. Pelosi, the mood does seem too over the top. We are frighten and untrusting of our government, but as a pacifist we must not allow this to escalate into violence in the streets of America.
    Have faith America as we always have had before in times of crisis, we will find the right path in time.

    September 17, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. rmh

    Is the same Pelosi who said CIA lied during briefings?
    Same Pelosi who called TeaParty people Astroturfers and angry mobs......?
    The same Pelosi who has slammed the door in the face of Republican negotiators when she pushed Stimulus, TARP, Budget, Cap&Trade.....?
    She's worried about the political climate.
    Come one Nancy this is what you created....

    September 17, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. larry

    What a hypocrite when she was calling 'W' all kinds of names and using rather descriptive adjectives!

    September 17, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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