Former speaker to current speaker: 'Figure it out'
December 12th, 2012
03:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Former speaker to current speaker: 'Figure it out'

Washington (CNN) - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who handed over the House speaker's gavel to Republican John Boehner two years ago, suggested he follow her lead when faced with intra-party division and "figure it out."

Asked whether Boehner should be willing to put his speakership on the line to get a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill, "That's what we all take the job to do - to risk it for something, not to just sit in the office."

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Pelosi recounted the challenge she faced shortly after she was elected speaker in 2007 and faced intense pressure from Democratic supporters to move legislation to end the war in Iraq. She credited Democratic opposition to the war as a main factor for her ascension into the post.

Facing a Republican president - George W. Bush - who made it clear he would block any efforts by Congress to force a withdrawal or defund the war, Pelosi said she was forced to come up with a way to get legislation through the House to ensure funding for the troops wasn't cut off.

"It's tough, but you have to do it," Pelosi said, explaining that she devised a strategy to hold multiple votes on Iraq legislation so that those Democrats who opposed the Bush administration's policy could go on the record against it, but the troops fighting in Iraq would still get funding to keep the war effort going.

"Figure it out. We did. Figure it out," Pelosi said.

Alienating some members of your own party comes with the territory as speaker of the House, Pelosi argued, noting the Iraq vote "was very unpopular and I have to tell you I'm not sure I ever recovered among some in the left for that."

"I believe he is a person of good intention," Pelosi said of Boehner, saying she hopes her compliment doesn't get him in trouble with the GOP, adding "he knows his responsibility to the country." The former speaker urged Boehner look to her example to come up with a way to bring up a measure that would ultimately renew the tax cuts for the middle class.

"It's painful, but it's the job he signed up for," Pelosi said.

Filed under: John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "For those of you new to this page, you will find it inhabited by the kind of people that attack Jenna Bush for being pregnant and cheer on the corrupt union thugs as they assault and destroy the property of those who disagree with them."

    Nobody attacked Jenna Bush for being pregos. We attacked CNN for the gossip-rag mentality that led to think it was aproprate to report on it and to believe that anyone actually gives a flying rat's pink patoot. As for your ridiculous claims about MI union members assaulting the idiots who set up a tent and purposefully tried to instigate a violent scene, credible reports are flooding in from witnesses that much of it was staged by the people trying to claim that they were attacked...loosening th erope to their own tents, Faux News purposefully misrepresenting that the union members with knives were simply destroying the tent, when in fact they were cutting it to help people trapped underneath get out, etc. You're so full of caca it's coming out your ears.

    December 12, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Haha...Nancy would've been a better first name for Boehner.

    December 12, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "the kind of people that attack Jenna Bush for being pregnant "

    Nobody was attacking Jenna for being pregos. we were attacking CNN for the gossip-rag mentality and ad-revenue wh-ring that led them to stick such a stupid, unimportant article on the Ticker. Jenna can go spit out babies all she wants for all I care, which I don't, which is the entire point.

    December 12, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. plain&simple

    The current speaker is and has been unable to find consensus within his he has not done his job! Who would replace him at this point? There's not anyone stepping up to take his place.....why???? No glory.

    December 12, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Let's Move Forward

    Good grief that weirdinSF needs to relax a little. So much hate, so much anger, so much stereotyping of people that have different opinions or vote different. I heard 2 women at the mall earlier today saying stay away from white males they are mass killers. What has this country become when we discriminate against our citizens because of ignorance and hate.

    December 12, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Larry in Houston

    """CNN, where is the indepth reporting on raising taxes on the rich! We had the CBO and CRS say that raising taxes on the rich will not be detrimental and confirms President Obama's approach will help this economy. Also, when President Obama took over the GDP was -9% and now 2.7% which is a 12% turnaround! President Obama's economic policies are working! Where is the reporting !! """"

    CNN – you guys need to get the "Roman Numeral" on this – and it wouldn't hurt if you got the "Borger" inside Info.

    Christine & Gloria are the Best you've got – as far as in depth & knowledgeable reporting, y'know.

    December 12, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. Getoverit

    Why don't we just pass it so we can see what's in it?

    December 12, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That's what we all take the job to do – to risk it for something, not to just sit in the office."
    Yes but did anybody say that to Boehner....whilst he was sober?
    He seems to be under the mistaken impression that this is one of those "fluff" gubmint jobs.

    December 12, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Low IQs gravitate to today's Rep party like flies to crap.
    Pardon the colloquialism but ain't THAT the truth!!

    December 12, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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