Pelosi says Ryan pick makes it easier for Dems to take House
September 16th, 2012
09:20 AM ET
11 years ago

Pelosi says Ryan pick makes it easier for Dems to take House

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's pick of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate will give Democrats a better shot at retaking control of the House of Representatives, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, said in an interview airing Sunday.

Pelosi, a Democrat, said Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare was a nonstarter among senior citizens, meaning Democrats are better poised to assume the majority in the lower chamber.

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"On August 11, when Gov. Romney chose Ryan, that was the pivotal day," Pelosi told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union." "That is the day things really changed. We were on a path. I would have said to you then we were dead even. Well, the momentum is very much with us, the Medicare issue in this campaign."

Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, has proposed a plan that would allow private insurers to compete with traditional Medicare on an exchange. Democrats, who label the proposal a "voucher system," claim the plan would effectively end Medicare. Republicans say such steps are necessary to ensure the health care program for senior citizens remains solvent. They also point out that Ryan's proposed measures wouldn't affect current Medicare recipients.

On Sunday, Pelosi said the issue was at the forefront of voters' minds and that her party retained the upper hand.

"We have been saying there are three important issues in this campaign. And in alphabetical order, they are Medicare, Medicare, Medicare," the California representative said.

A CNN/ORC poll taken earlier this month indicated Medicare was among the top three most important economic issues for voters, after unemployment and the federal deficit. And a New York Times survey last week showed a significant majority of voters wanted Medicare to remain unchanged, rather than shift to a system like the one Ryan has proposed.

Following his choice of Ryan as running mate, Romney has used Medicare often in his campaign speeches, claiming President Barack Obama took money reserved for Medicare to pay for his sweeping health care law (a claim that has been rated "false" by several fact checkers). While Romney hasn't said which specific elements of Ryan's budget plan he would support as president, he has indicated that many of Ryan's measures would play a part in his own White House budget proposals.

The push by Pelosi and fellow Democrats to win back the House comes after the party lost control of the chamber in the 2010 midterm elections. In order to regain a majority, Democrats are aggressively trying to pick up 25 seats in November's election.

Pelosi said Sunday that without a Democratic majority in the House, legislative gridlock would persist on Capitol Hill, even if Obama is re-elected.

"You'll see more of the same, because it's really important for the public to know that the Republican obstruction of President Obama's jobs bills, and whatever he was advancing, their obstruction is their agenda. They really don't believe in a public role," Pelosi said.

A second-term president, Pelosi said, wouldn't change the legislative dynamic if Republicans remain in the majority. And a Mitt Romney presidency, the minority leader indicated, was unthinkable.

"Mitt Romney is not going to be president of the United States," she said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Unfit Mitt

    Get real – of course she is relevant. She is the minority leader in the US House. Although the current republicon leadership is carping all over the accepted functioning of a representative republic, that is still a significant position. More importantly, she is likely to be speaker again if not this January then in January 2015. So, in short, of course she is significant. Far more so than ryan as a House member.

    September 16, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why do Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan continue to refuse to present their long form birth certificates to the American people for review? A woman at the grocery store told me that Mitt Romney was actually born in Mexico, and smuggled here as a baby. Why won't he address this fact? What is he hiding? Why has he paid millions of dollars to lawyers to cover up his past?

    September 16, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. jai jai

    I'm still undecided but I tally Ryan as a negative under the Ronmey category.

    September 16, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Canuck

    @Just some guy
    " our constitution provides checks and balances, essentially requiring debate and compromise"

    Of course, but the Republican Party's main aim is to get Obama out of office. They refuse to compromise – you clearly haven't been paying attention.

    September 16, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. Stoney

    Wishful thinking Nancy. You being there makes it easier for the repubs.

    September 16, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Keith

    Life is very strange, Pelosi could be right

    September 16, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. dangr

    I agree. I believe Ryan is a worse choice for VP than Palin. The guy could have enjoyed a long political career sniping from the sidelines, but it only took one speech to put his character faults, especially the pathological lying, into the spotlight.

    The attacks on the poor, the working class, and the elderly for the benefit of the uber rich are horrible policies mistakes, but in many parts of the country those are apparently applauded. However, that's a minority of the country and it won't be harbored on the national playing field. The fatal character flaws add so much fuel to the fire, even his constituents have to agree the guy is sick and needs to get a real job for the first time in his life.

    September 16, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Wanderer

    If Romney released his tax returns, he might have my vote. If Romney didn’t pick Ryan, he might have my vote. If Romney didn’t flip flop he might have my vote. If the GOP congress didn’t obstruct Obama’s bills they might have my vote. As of this date, I still cannot find any reason for me to give my vote to the R-R ticket.

    September 16, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    We are not predicting , But conservative pundits came to the conclusion that election is over Obama and democrats won the election

    September 16, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. GOP is for the rich

    They keep saying it wouldn't affect the people now on medicare. If it is such a great deal, why not implement it now?......Must be a rotton idea to want to push it off onto another administration ten years down the road.

    September 16, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. us_1776

    Ryan cannot tell the truth even if his life depended on it.

    This guy would give Pinocchio a run for his money.


    September 16, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Freelance

    I don't like Ryan. But I absolutely abhor pelosi

    September 16, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Tom Swinburn

    Pot, call kettle black. I expect beyond your own state Nancy you are one of the three MOST hated politicians. Democrats where I live can't stand you. Fortunately for the Democrat party, they are much like Republicans in that they don't let ANY one politician define them. Although I am not affiliated with any party, & vote for the candidate most in line with my beliefs, many of my family & friends are died in the wool Democrats. To a person, they can't abide you. That doesn't mean they have turned their backs on the party.

    September 16, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. JC

    Pelosi is responsible for the loss of a lot of Democratic seats in the last congressional elections. It is her own fault that she is the minority leader. She's a scary piece of work, cast much in the same mold as Dick Cheney, who honestly believes that she knows what is best for everyone. If Ryan makes Democrats happy, Nancy Pelosi, and the fact that a good many Democrats can't stand her, makes Republicans happy.

    September 16, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. James L.

    17% of Congress time has been spent renaming post offices, 50 million dollars of tax payer money spent passing over 30 bills designed to overturn abortion and health care legislation they knew would not pass a veto, obstructing and filibustering every recovery/jobs bills setting a record for the most "do nothing congress" in all of American history. Easy for the Dems. to take the House? Duh!

    September 16, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Gimmeabreak!

    Well, Nancy, we'll have to wait until Ryan is vice president to see what he does, eh? Sort of like "We'll have to pass Obamacare to see what's in it." Idiot woman from California who has ruined a fabulous state with her liberal socialist cronies!!

    September 16, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. pkrbkr

    We need a Democratic House, Democratic Senate and Democratic Presidency to get things done for the average American! Obama/Biden 2012

    September 16, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. RudyG

    What an irony. Pelosi opening her mouth is always an adventure for Democrats.

    September 16, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Don in Albuquerque

    After asking several repubs why in the world they would vote for Mitt-Witt and told they could not just use Faux Entertainment gossip, I have yet to come up with one credible answer. Actually the only honesty I have found was from of my church going friends who said they would not vote for Obama, and they were darn sure not going to vote for Romney the cultist. They intend to stay home and at least remain true to their own personal beliefs.

    September 16, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. wolfpackbob

    But Nancy, we won't know what Paul Ryan is like UNTIL WE VOTE FOR HIM.

    September 16, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. chris

    Everyone saying the republicans have blocked all obama's plans are you serious? On his budget proposal not a single democrat voted for his plan and obviously no republicans. And his phony jobs bill that he came out with in year 3 as president? Why not year one or two when your party controlled both house and senate? Obviously a phony plan to make it seem like republicans are blocking bills that would help economy. Its a tactic and its not new

    September 16, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. All signs say yes

    Pelosi makes sense here. Romney has flip-flop issues, and by joining up with Ryan, who is resolute is his dismantling of Social Security and Medicare, it looks like he's found a partner who will dictate policy for him. But Ryan, a healthy and VERY young man does not understand the real healthcare issues of the elderly. Ryan connects with the elderly as much as Romney connects with the average American wage earner – not at all.

    September 16, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. GOP is for the rich

    ......but I don't want to wait 40,000 years to find out what Ryan does! He MAY be Vice-President by then, when all intelligent people are DEAD!!

    September 16, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. All signs say yes

    Pelosi makes sense here. Romney has flip-flop issues, and by joining up with Ryan, who is resolute is his dismantling of Social Security and Medicare, it looks like he's found a partner who will dictate policy for him. But Ryan, a healthy and VERY young man does not understand the real healthcare issues of the elderly. Ryan connects with the elderly as much as Romney connects with the average American wage earner – not at all.

    September 16, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain: Mittens 'n' Munster are Liars

    @justsomeguy: "Obama was a on par with Palin...not talking intellectually, but experience."

    President Obama and the Quitta? President Obama turned down a lucrative private law practice career to work as a community organizer with real people, addressing real problems for three years. If you've ever done that, you'd know how valuable that experience is. He then went on to the Illinois State Senate and then the U.S. Senate.

    Contrast that to Palin, who was the mayor of a rinky-dink town in Alaska (a state that gives it's citizens thousands of dollars every year for no reason; talk about socialism!) and then went on to serve half a term as governor, giving up her sworn duties so she could make a buck (while lying through her teeth that she was doing it for Alaskans' sake – HAH!).

    September 16, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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