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. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Only in the 70's she was one of the protesters and they were for her favorite left wing causes. Now it's different and frightening? What a hypocritical fraud.

    September 17, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. cj

    So what your saying Nancy is that most who don't agree with your view are "unbalanced"? Interesting. How about we quit the smoke and mirror technique of the Bush administration and stop trying to make this look like a race thing. Where is the transparency? Where are my civil rights that were suppose to be restored? Where is government responsibility? All things promised in the election season and forgotten on Jan 21, 2009.
    PS What about bringing the troops home? In the words of Joe Wilson "YOU LIE".

    September 17, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Burns NH

    Violence? ?? words do not fit that comment. Now when you demand
    that your members vote a certain way and if they don"t you will see
    that they will be punished may fall into that category. you really need to find some other type of employment,maybe with "Acorn". You might
    ponder that and exit our good congress for all of our sakes.

    September 17, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Scott, Tucson

    First Nancy Pelosi can listen to the American People! Not the ACORN crowd.

    As for the 70's, she forgotten that lot of the violent protesting particularly in the San Francisco area were from the pro-Hanoi, anti-America, Jane Fonda, Berkly left. Guess she's trying to rewrite history too.

    September 17, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    How can someone who has no emotions become emotional?

    No tears from Pelosi... first of all, her face has been pulled tighter than a bongo drum and there's no way they could escape tear ducts. But if they did... they'd bead up on her tutle wax face.

    September 17, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. williefloyd

    I'm not a fan of Ms. Pelosi, but she is right on here.

    September 17, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Nea

    Yes people have a right to freedom of speech but what i dont like is when people use racist tones and the top dogs act like its ok. When i see the Republicans agree with tones like lets bury obamacare with kennedy and then they acts like its ok, to me thats down right disrespectful towards the Kennedy family. And also a lot of whats coming from these tea party rallies are plain hatred a good portion of it i dont believe that all those people mean to be hateful towards anyone they just want their voices to be heard because they disagree with the Presidents views.

    September 17, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Roy

    What??????Give me a huge break, people hate Obamas and Pelosi's
    policies, and that scares her? Where the heck was she the last eight years when unbelieveble hatred was thrown at Bush? Why was she not alarmed then? That hatred was personal. Now that the shoe is on the other foot she's suprised???? This lady is either blind or just a plain idiot. I think the later.

    September 17, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. victim of republican greed

    Where is the right wingnut outrage that Joe 'the liar' Wilson was never an immigration attorney, like he said he was. This selective hate for people that are not a member of the 'sons of the confederacy' needs to stop.

    September 17, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. TangledThorns

    Crocodile tears. Pelosi is the worse politician ever.

    September 17, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Jenn, Philadelphia

    I think saying things like "we won, we wrote the bill" instead of working to gether adds to that climate. I think they must have no mirros in Congress, the way they all point fingers at the other without looking at what they're doing.

    September 17, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. alitro

    I can understand why Nancy Pelosi is emotional about the situation. I myself is sad that in this day and age with so many different people from different backgrounds, we are still having so much hatred and dissent from a certain group of 'white' and to a certain point racist people. This is only going to breathe violence, because I know for a fact that blacks can re-act just as much as these racist white folks, and then the whole country will be in a mess. Wake up Obama haters, you are only going to cause riots, killings and unrest if you continute on the path you are travelling. If you are against his politics, say so, but to inject racist signs and rethoric into the conversation is only going to cause problems.

    September 17, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. Paul from Phoenix

    What a load of crap. She wasn't so concerned when she was throwing that rhetoric at Bush and the GOP. Total hypocrite, trying to take a page from the Hillary playbook.

    September 17, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Dave

    If anything ever happens to Obama, I'd hate to be Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or any of the other irresponsible pundits who are stirring up the crazies and making them think violent revolt against their own nation is "patriotic." It's easy to see what they're trying to inspire people to do, and if anyone does it, there's likely to be retaliation. As much as people loathed Bush, nobody was making these kind of stupid threats, bringing guns to town hall meetings, threatening secession, etc. And protests against Bush were about things he'd actually DONE; most of the Obama protestors are upset about fantasies of thing they think he MIGHT do.

    It's all ridiculous now, but if it results in tragedy, it's not going to fare well for those who caused it.

    September 17, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. T'SAH from Virginia

    Pelosi is right!! People should be CORRECTED right away when they shout out or cause disruption at town hall meetings and rallies... For ONCE I can say I give respect to John McCain at ONE of his town halls when he IMMEDIATELY corrected the woman that claimed Obama was a MUSLIM!!!

    The REPUBLI-CAN'Ts has a tendency to ALLOW the media to display all of the negative without EVER once correcting it. Just like they FORCED Wilson to apologize then turn around and used it as trying to build their BASE and raise money. They don't realize that they're building up VIOLENCE more than a BASE – while their REAL BASE dwindles away!!!

    September 17, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Elle

    Stick to your guns, Nancy. There are many more that support you and the much-anticipated health care bill than the media and far-right like to admit.

    September 17, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. stevegee

    Give me a break! The Wicked Witch of the West is worried about protesters? The only thing she's ever worried about is her own warped, misguided political agenda.

    Go fly your taxpayer-funded jet back to California and stay there with the 2-inch fish you're trying to save at the expense of thousands of farmers' livelihoods.

    September 17, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Idiot_Pelosi

    PELOSI needs to take responsibility for her actions.

    She was abusive and extremely critical of BUSH, so now her party is on the chopping block and she wants everyone to play nice.

    Well, too bad. You are socialst, and we're not going to take it anymore.

    September 17, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. shucks

    That's because the republicans aren't listening to their own hearts anymore, they are listening to a bunch of fools who are all fighting for the limelight and will say or do anything to cause discourse and anarchy. They are called home grown terrorists. And let's just say that president Obama denounced what Jimmy Carter said, but if you look at the hate and outright maliciousness, Carter wasn't very far off the mark, and everyone knows it.

    September 17, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. angel

    Oh Nancy,...Nancy, Nancy.....
    What are you going to do?????, what are you going to do????
    Resign? May be?,....Oh Nancy, Nancy.....

    September 17, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Bill in Illinois

    I almost never agree with Nancy but this time she is right on with her concerns. Many of these folks mothers must be spinning in their graves. I would bet any amount of money that they were not brought up like this.

    Civility, decency and moral values seem to have become values of the past, being replaced with an "it's all about me and to hell with you" attitude. It seems to me that this switch in our value system is directly related to the inability of the "party of no" to actually try and listen to anyone but by their need to act like a bunch of spoiled two year olds and play partisian politics.

    September 17, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. Steve, Columbia SC

    "this balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance"..............? Sounds like Mrs Speaker has ideas of moving away from freedom to government controlled safety, or health care, or gun control, or weath're not listening to the majority of American Mrs Pelosi. We don't want your government option, we don't' want your gun control, your big government, your trough mentality.

    The current climate is something you haven't seen before, because the nation is pretty fed up with the arroganance of government, the intrusive attitude of government, and the total disregard for fiscal responsibility. This climate is not extreme, radical, terroristic, racist, it is the climate of a successful, free democracy.

    September 17, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Andrew Steiner

    She is absolutely correct on this point. A handful of high-profile, highly paid, self-proclaimed conservatives are inciting some of the more frightened, uneducated, and bigoted masses, whipping them up into a frenzy, laying the groundwork for someone to do some irrevocable harm. Frankly, I don't think people like Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh believe half of what they say... but they know that they get paid millions to preach to their loyal choirs. I pray for the return of truth and civility. Until then, the pop-cultural icons will have their "15 minutes" of fame, and seem blissfully ignorant to the long term damage they leave in their wake.

    September 17, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. worriedmom

    Amazing, this women who has the most hateful personality out there. Calling people Un-American, terrorists, astro turf and she nows decides to share a tear. Oh please, I have no respect for you at all. You are to blame for a great deal of this mess, Madame Speaker.
    I can only say the tears are probably because you are losing your backing from other fellow Democrats!!!!

    September 17, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Ron

    Oh, Nancy, naive Nancy, you have not yet begun to feel the wrath of a disillusioned public.

    September 17, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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