Pelosi blamed House Republicans for bottling up legislation, and for failing to follow the example she set as the Democratic speaker.
“When President Bush was president and I was speaker, we worked cooperatively to do the biggest energy bill in history,” she said. “We did the TARP — the Republicans walked away from their own president — we did a wonderful stimulus with rebates all the way down to refundability for poor people. We worked together on a number of things. We didn’t agree on the wars and we had our differences, but we worked together with the president.”
“When this president came in and we were in the majority, we got things done. When this president was still there, and the Republicans came in, they said the most important thing they could do was to make sure he did not succeed. And that’s really unfortunate.”
“But also, I keep saying to my Republican friends, ‘Take back your party,’” Pelosi continued.
“This isn’t the Grand Old Party that did so many things for America, that commanded so much respect. We need a strong Republican Party. This is really the over-the-edge crowd. That’s the way I see it. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some in there who still had some respect for the role of — the public role of clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the rest. But the fact is that it is dominated by an element that are anti-government ideologues, and are committed to not cooperating with this president. And it’s hard to understand.”
“I think this new class coming in invigorates, refreshes the Congress and says let’s just have a fresh — let’s sweep away what happened the last two years,” Pelosi concluded. “Let’s go back to another time where we had respect for each other’s opinion and respect for people who sent us here.”