October 1st, 2010
05:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Pelosi defiant on keeping the House

(Washington) CNN - At a session with journalists on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made it clear she's not interested in talking about losing the House of Representatives in the upcoming midterm elections. She was defiant, and would not hear of the possibility of a GOP wave.

"I would rather be where we are than where they are," Pelosi said.

And what about the conventional wisdom that the Democratic base will stay at home because it is disappointed in Obama?

"I am the base," she said, recalling her days as chair of the California Democratic party, making the point that Democratic candidates "will own the ground on our races."

Translation: Democrats will turn out to vote.

In a way, it's not surprising that the House Speaker refuses to allow that she might not have her job back next year. But it's also in character: she's a focused, determined, pragmatic politician with one job at hand; to keep the House in democratic control. To do that, she's given her Democrats leeway to do what they must-vote against Democratic proposals and even distance themselves from her personally.

When I asked her about Rep. Walt Minnick of Idaho, who told CNN that he hasn't yet decided if he would back Pelosi as speaker, her response was instantaneous.

"Go for it," she said. "Just win your election. I just want them to win. It's their election. It's not about me."

Pelosi was predictable in her talking points: "This is a choice election, and the choice is between going back to George W. Bush or moving the country forward."

She repeatedly told reporters she was "proud" of this Congress' achievements, including health care, a small jobs bill and financial reform, to name a few. Why didn't she call for a vote on tax cuts? While some doubt that she had the votes (with the defections of moderate Democrats), she said she did. Her reason for pulling the measure now? "Do I give them (the GOP) an opportunity to misrepresent again?" she asked rhetorically. "No. I will not give them grist for the mill."

What she will do throughout the campaign is continue to try and tie the GOP to special interests-either the insurance industry, for instance, or the industries that are funding their ad campaigns.

"We need to "tattoo the Republican candidates with the source of that money and that record," she said. "It gives new meaning to the term 'Buy America.'"

In the end, though, after a discussion about why people have turned on government-which she says is nothing new-even Pelosi had to admit that the elephant in the room is 9.5 percent unemployment. "Any political party that can't exploit 9.5 percent unemployment ought to hang up their gloves," she said.

Clearly, though, she's not willing to hang up hers yet.

Filed under: 2010 • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Lost youth

    Hugo, thank you for your posts. They have really made me think hard, I have seen what you mean by libtards. I have watched both my parents go through their savings and seen what these guys in Washington are doing to us. I am not thrilled with Rethuglicans but when you look at the Dumbocrats, especially Nancy Pelosi your words ring true!

    October 1, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. S. in California

    "I would rather be where we are than where they are," Pelosi said.

    Me too Nancy.

    Go Democrats!

    October 1, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. jim

    She has no control over this.The voters will decide this and if they like how Congress has been run she has no worries.If they don't like the way democrats have acted than she'll have to wait another few years until they gain power again.

    October 1, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Asa

    Possibly the worst speaker of the house ever. If we had her as speaker much longer we would become Greece or another overburdened banana republic. She has kept none of her major promises and helped pull the Democatic party so far left it alienated much of the rest of the country.

    October 1, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    The Dems aren't perfect, but at least we've seen over the last two years that they can actually do things to better our country.

    Unlike the Republicans who are a broken record of tax-cuts-for-the-rich, tax-cuts-for-the-rich, tax-cuts-for-the-rich, tax-cuts-for-the-rich, tax-cuts-for-the-rich, tax-cuts-for-the-rich .... knowing all along that is DOES NOT RESULT IN JOB CREATION HERE IN THE U.S.!

    October 1, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    "she has done more harm to this country than george bush , benadict aronld and the tokyo rose combined...."

    How? By passing health care legislation that gives people real choice, doesn't allow insurance companies to drop you if you get sick or deny you coverage based on a pre-existing condition?

    By voting for the stimulus bill that independent auditing agencies agree kept our country from falling into another Great Depression?

    By supporting President Obama in ending the combat mission in Iraq?

    Quit typing Fox and Limbaugh talking points and start thinking for yourself for a change!

    October 1, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Rick CT

    Scary...really scary to think she is only 2 steps away from the Presidency.

    October 1, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. See Novak

    File under Pre-emptive Damage Control

    October 1, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Stan

    She is a disaster.

    October 1, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  10. Dave

    Being the base is her problem. America first, needs to be her base. Once, you are elected; you represent the people not your base.

    October 1, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. the real ib

    Pelosi is the base; a big reason to vote republican. I would love to see this woman ride her broom into the sunset. She is like Obama; self centered and arrogrant. She is a big reason this country is headed in the wrong direction.

    October 1, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. JiminNM

    Pelosi is a plucked duck.

    October 1, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. King

    You guys can hate on pelosi as much as you want to. But there have never been another workhorse and productive house leader in congress and probably never will. She and the dems brought this country back from obliteration without a single help from the obstructionist reptgs. All theyve done all this two years is sit on the side line pushing fare hatred, lies and negatvity while the dems slaved away for the american people.

    October 1, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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