House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to blow off a question about Baltimore’s Christopher Columbus statue, which was removed by protesters and dumped in the harbor.
“People will do what they do,” Pelosi said Thursday to a reporter who had asked whether statue removal should be undertaken by city councils rather than mobs.
Reporter asking about Christopher Columbus statue in Baltimore: “Shouldn’t that be done by a commission or the city council, not a mob in the middle of the night throwing it into a harbor?”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “People will do what they do.” pic.twitter.com/mlSUDIBZRv
— The Hill (@thehill) July 9, 2020
The statue, which had stood in Baltimore’s Little Italy, was toppled and dumped into the Inner Harbor on July 4.
Protesters just took down the Christopher Columbus statue in Baltimore’s Little Italy. pic.twitter.com/ViPk5eKOtz
— Louis Krauss (@louiskraussnews) July 5, 2020
While you were celebrating.. “We’ve seen people who have taken to the streets, we have supported them. We are going to continue to support it,” says spokesman for #Baltimore’s Democratic Mayor.#Columbus brought down, tossed into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. https://t.co/Hw4VxEVFMx
— Kevin Corke (@kevincorke) July 5, 2020
That particular statue had been dedicated in 1984 by the President Ronald Reagan, who said at the time, “The ideals which many successive Italian immigrants brought with them are at the very heart of America. I’m speaking of hard work, love of family, patriotism, and respect for God.”
Pelosi was initially asked about the statue of Columbus and whether or not she had anything to say about its removal. Her first response was to tell the reporter that she didn’t even have her grandmother’s earrings.
Pelosi on removal of Columbus statue in Baltimore:
I don’t even have my grandmother’s earrings. I’m more interested in what someone has done
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 9, 2020
“I don’t even have my grandmother’s earrings. I’m not a big let’s-see-what-we-have-in-monuments, and this. I’m more interested in what people have accomplished,” Pelosi explained, adding that she felt that it was “very important that we take down any of the statues of people who committed treason against the United States of America.” (RELATED: Pelosi Says She Has Demanded Confederate Speaker Paintings Be Removed From Capitol)
Pelosi added that, if the community decided that they did not want the statues, they should also be taken down. “Doesn’t diminish my pride in my Italian-American heritage, and the fact that it was a country discovered by an Italian, named for an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. So — I have that pride. But I don’t care that much about statues,” she added.
When the reporter then suggested that it should be left up to city councils and commissions rather than protesters, Pelosi responded, “People will do what they do.”
She concluded by saying that “from a safety standpoint” it would be better for the statues to be removed by people who were trained to do it properly.