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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Filed under: Nancy Pelosi • Popular Posts
soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    I don't like Pelosi much but, in this case, she is absolutely right.

    September 17, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Perecorp

    Don't worry Nancy, if the GOP and their racists supporters want violence and fighting we will take it to them. Rest assured the next GOP will get exactly what they're giving Obama!

    September 17, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Bridgette

    I think what the Republicans have done with this debate has opened a door that not even they are ready for. This is going to back fire on them and that is why they themselves are even moving away from it.

    September 17, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen John Ensign (R-NV)

    Speaker Pelosi isn't the only person who is upset about the hate now rampant in our political discourse.

    David McKalip, the doctor who was responsible for the posters of President Obama depicting him as an African witch doctor with a loincloth and wearing bones in his nose, resigned his position with the Pinellas County Medical Association and gave up his seat as a delegate at the American Medical Association.

    "The Pinellas County Medical Association joins with the Florida Medical Association in denouncing and condemning Dr. McKalip's act and his offensive ‘Obama Care’ statements. Dr. McKalip's act in no way reflects the opinions of the Pinellas County Medical Association or its Board of Governors. Dr. McKalip has submitted his resignation as President-Elect and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Pinellas County Medical Association, and his resignation has been accepted."

    Those who are stoking the flames of this hate should be held responsible for the violence that will surely follow if it is not stopped.

    September 17, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Duenas

    Two words for Pelosi: Pathetic / Instigator
    I strongly believe that Pelosi is one of the main reasons as to why so many Americans oppose President Obama's healthcare reform.

    September 17, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Jack

    So if conservative rant and rave like liberals do on Huffington Post or or any of the other left wing loons sights it creates a climate of violence. And obviously as an "elite intellectual progressive" she knows that the American public is made up of "ears...are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume,"... So the American public is "out of balance". This is exactly what Pelosi and her fellow progressives believe. They are the only ones capable of ruling America because they are the only ones educated and experienced enough. This is exactly why they are convinced that socialism will work if they are in charge even though hundreds of years of history have proven that wrong. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    September 17, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. JJ in NY

    Pelosi !

    The poster girl for lunacy !

    September 17, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Carnell

    I Have 3 Items, The First One Is That The Speaker Of The House Shouldn't Cry. I Believe In Speaker And Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader And Senator Harry Reid, And My President Barack Obama. Second, I'm So Glad That The Presidents Interviews Are With Everybody But FOX News. That News Organization Is A Total Disgrace. With Its Deciet And Defeat Obama Tactics.

    September 17, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Peter Zheutlin

    Our children are listening. Maybe we should all keep that in mind as we conduct our public discourse and things would be more civil. The tone of much of the anti-Obama rhetoric is reckless and responsible Republicans ought to help tone it down.

    September 17, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. rob

    What a disgusting display. So now protesting against the Gov't or certain Dem leaders policies leads to violence???? This is another example of the Dems trying to silence anyone who disagrees with them by vilifying them.

    Ms. Pelosi, your supporters carried signs depicting Pres Bush with a gun to his head, they made films on how to assassinate him. Don't shed those crockadile tears.

    The Dems are more desparate than ever, the public is watching what the are doing and they like it less and less.

    Nov. 2010 can't come fast enough.

    September 17, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Theresa

    The funny thing is, she probably contributed to the type of language more than any one else. Remember her seeing people wearing swastikas and things of that nature. No one was doing those things and yet she wanted to label it as such and now she is crying about it. Whatever!

    September 17, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Frances Witteman

    Insurance company stocks are on the rise because WallStreet knows that insurance companies will make huge profits the way the healthcare bill is now being drafted. We have given up too much. Get back to public options and stop trying to make the Republicans happy. It will never happen, they cannot afford to let President Obama win.

    September 17, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Debbie

    For once Pelosi is right!

    September 17, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Offend Equally

    Ha! Drama and lies! Pelosi really thinks we are gulliable morons. Nancy, you are evil. Go take your private jet across the country and tell others to be "green".

    September 17, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. i want my finger back

    you started it nancy. we are not n_zis!

    September 17, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. Robert

    Then Nancy why don't you resign!! You call people brownshirts and nazis, its no wonder people can't stand your smug and arrogant way of trying to cram down a public option in which most americans oppose! You offer no debate and dismiss any proposals the other side may have especially when they are free market solutions! You ignore the fact that we are in serious debt and spend other peoples money to help fund your princess agenda even though it willdoom the country for decades! Its too bad there are so many loons in SF. that actually would vote for this evil, nasty woman!

    September 17, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. David

    Hmmmm. If she repeats it enough, people start believing it.

    September 17, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. T Mckinley

    As I observe this country becoming more and more divided along ideological lines, I am coming to the point where I am beginning to think that the best solution to this situation would be to allow Texas, Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabam, Georgia, and South Carolina to go ahead and seceed from the Union.

    The conservative, far-right is going to do everything in their power to keep this country from moving ahead into the 21st century. They have proven over and over again that they cannot be reasoned with, and have absolutely no interest in compromising with anyone they disagree with on anything. Everthing has to be THEIR way.

    I think it's time we at least consider giving them a country of their own.
    If this has to happen, I would like to see this happen without a civil war. May God have mercy on us all.

    September 17, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Joe in CA

    I'm a democrat but it's time for Pelosi AND Reid to go. They are dragging the party down. Let 'em keep their current elected positions, but take 'em out the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader spots. they are WAY to contorversial.

    September 17, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Predicta

    "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,"

    This means if you don't agree with my policy, don't speak out about it, just keep it to yourself. Sounds like a violation of first amendment rights to me.

    September 17, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. chuck

    The right wing tea parties and conservative talk radio have not left out the place that Pelosi represents – San Francisco. Their attacks on the citizens of San Francisco have been hard-core in many cases and the gay community has been the recipient of many of these cruel and sharp jabs. It seems to me that Pelosi would not be as offensive to some on the right if she wasn't representing a large gay population. This cruelty is a dead give-away of who these people really are. This homogeneous group has some very homophobic rhetoric for Pelosi's homosexual constituents. It certainly makes me think twice about allegations of racism coming from these camps.

    September 17, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. millwright

    Has everyone forgotten the comments this congress has made about the citizens who disagree about their policy making. The speaker and this congress has CREATED the climate of violence. Comments like brown shirts, Nazi’s, unpatriotic and disagreeing racist. All I can say you made this bed so sleep in it. Maybe we as a country can drive the wicked witch of the west home.

    September 17, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Gale

    Ms Pelosi: you don't even get it do you? People are sick and tired of a Congress where absolutely no attention is paid to the voters wishes. Congress Men and Women do exactly what they want with the only concern being is: "What's in it for me" Corruption is running wild and all Congress can do is censure Wilson? I believe the voters will vote a lot of people out of office, now that they know how filthy they are, and they just keep on making self gratification moves without any consideration for the people of America. Wake up!!

    September 17, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Connie, Indiana

    All we now is a loose cannon to listen to the Beck's of the world, I don't know how this crap is going to end, but it won't be pretty, and anybody who thinks someone isn't going to get hurt is kidding themselves.. This is what this country has become, 3/4 with sense, the rest are swinging in the breeze.

    September 17, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. CJL

    She's lost her mind, moreso than she had last week.

    September 17, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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