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. obama the liar

    Nancy PeLIEsi, you are main problem in washington..telling us you will bring new ethics and honesty and all you have done is protect the liberal crooks in your party. Do the names Frank or Rangel test your spine?

    September 17, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. PK

    Perhaps she should curb her own enthusiasm for taking other people's property and freedom.

    September 17, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Deb (long island)

    I totally agree with Speaker Pelosi. The tone is a frightening one and the irresponsibility of some is alarming. FOX news should be fined for the way some people are allowed to conduct themselves.

    September 17, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. Concerned

    I agree with with Madam Speaker 100%%%%%%%%.

    September 17, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Peace

    It is really so sad. I just ask myself where some people get courage to act the way we are witnessing an unusual behaviour!

    September 17, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. KK

    The looks on VP Biden and Rep. Pelosi faces from the remarks of Joe Wilson told all- amazement and disbelief. However, when we see the group seated around Wilson there weren't any facial expressions at all. Why? could it be that this was a setup by the Republicans to take the edge off of the President's speech. Let us face it, they came with their paperwork and signs and that tells me they knew exactly what they were doing.

    Let us give Public Option a new name PUBLIC CHOICE.

    September 17, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Wise Latina

    Pelosi ... continues to be an utter embarrassment beyond comprehension.

    HOW did she happen, America???

    September 17, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Debby

    Oh Nancy the political climate got clamy when the Dems. took over completely so stop your fake emotional breakdown.

    September 17, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. N

    People fight their whole lives, fighting for equality. But then they see an opening for a chance to shift the laws in their favor, and they jump on it. Hate crimes in this country need to be determined equally. Or we should rethink who we call our heroes of the civil rights movement, and see that equality was not the agenda all along, the fight was for equality, until equality can be turned around against the oppressors. So what does our future hold, yet another battle for equal rights? Just a new generation and a new group fighting for equal rights under the new laws. It is said history will repeat its self; it’s just how it will look in the sequel. Human nature will never be satisfied with equality, it’s not in the capabilities of mankind. There will always have to be the so called “ Alpha Male” Affect.

    September 17, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Phat Elvis

    I think this has been on alot of peoples' minds and i am glad Speaker Pelosi is raising the issue. things have gotten way out of hand. one man lost a part of his finger not too long ago because of sharpened rhetoric. we need to get back to debating issues without fueling hate or demonizing opposing views.

    September 17, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Cando

    Nancy there is nothing you can say or do to stop this hateful speech, I just pray that nothing bad happens to our leaders because of this hatefullness that's going on. Half of these people don't even know what they are protesting. (see the u-tube video where the reporter is asking the questions about why they are there). It just shows that they will believe anything that the likes of Glen Beck and gang will spew. They really don't care about this country, the more divided the better they like it. I find things very sad for this country.

    September 17, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. MS

    We have to have a "balance between safety and freedom"? Sounds like rhetoric I've heard before – from Adolph Hitler.

    September 17, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Rob

    Wow she is so fake. It just makes me sick to see her up there. I really hope people of San Francisco get a brain and vote her out. I think everyone should boycott

    September 17, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. chris

    Nancy, Shutup with your crocodile tears. You get to say and do whatever you want but we can't? Please. Go away.

    September 17, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. neil

    Look in the mirror oh righteous one.

    September 17, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. pc

    Republicans are responsible for this violence and hate. Their party is totally disintegrating! They have spread hate messages and stirred anger and hate towards our President and I am saddened that this is happening in America. This is how foreigners act, LIKE ANIMALS!!!

    September 17, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Willy Brown

    Pelosi will be cryin when she gets kicked out of her job in 2010.

    September 17, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. single mom

    Madame Speaker, you've been in the big leagues for quite a while. Don't try for the emotional ploy.

    And did anyone else pick up on the comment about "understanding the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume". Is she now attacking the MENTAL capacity of anyone who doesn't share her liberal/progressive views?

    September 17, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Fed Up

    Nancy finally got something passed in the House – a rebuke against a Republican. Guess she feels she is back in power again.

    September 17, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. Pepou

    The tea party rhetoric is extremely dangerous and reminds me of the climate of pre-Nazi Germany.

    September 17, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Mike in SA

    This is the last woman who should be speaking about rhetoric creating an unhealthy climate in politics.

    September 17, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |

    Couldn't have been said any better.

    The violent atmosphere that is being manifested in recent weeks, shows that we must have a change of consciousness. Those who spew hate and bias have a real reason for it.

    Their WORLD AS THEY KNOW IT is coming to an end.
    We WILL END the wars.
    We WILL END racism
    We WILL END poverty
    We WILL END the hate!

    The era of Hate and Anger are OVER!


    We MUST put and end to rhetoric spoken by the Glenn Becks of the world.

    September 17, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. Sam's Nemesis

    Boo hoo...she can't get her way and nobody likes her........If I were her I'd quit.........Palin did

    September 17, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. Louise in NC

    The Television News media has a lot to do with stirring people up. The one thought that I keep in mind is this: THESE PEOPLE DO NOT MAKE UP THE WAY THE MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FEEL!!!

    September 17, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. JST

    Gee Nancy, Maybe you should ratchet down the partisan attacks you like to lob. Maybe you should ask yourself if you're contributing to the noise as much as anyone? Where's the leadership as the House Leader? The Congress belongs to all of us and you're at the top. How 'bout acting professional for a change.

    September 17, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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