House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was visibly frustrated with the line of questions from CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer about passing a coronavirus relief bill.
As negotiations between the Trump administration and House Democrats have been revived after President Trump briefly called off stimulus talks, Blitzer asked Pelosi to explain to Americans who are struggling financially amid the economic recovery why she “won’t accept the president’s latest stimulus offer.”
“I hope you’ll ask the same question of the Republicans on why they don’t want to meet the needs of the American people,” Pelosi responded. “But let me say to those people because all of my colleagues — we represent these people… and their needs are not addressed in the president’s proposal. So when you say to me ‘Why don’t you accept theirs?’ Why don’t they accept ours?”
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Blitzer interjected, telling Pelosi that Americans “really need the money now” and quoted one of Pelosi’s Democratic colleagues, Rep. Ro Khanna of California, who said “People in need can’t wait until February. 1.8 trillion is significant & more than twice the Obama stimulus… Make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court.”
“So what do you say to Ro Khanna?” Blitzer asked.
“What I say to you is I don’t know why you’re always an apologist- and many of your colleagues, apologists for the Republican position,” Pelosi fired back, adding “Ro Khanna, that’s nice, that isn’t what we’re going to do and nobody’s waiting til February.”
The contentious exchange continued when the CNN anchor pressed the speaker on President Trump’s $1.8 trillion proposals, asking her “why not work out a deal with him and don’t let the perfect, as they say here in Washington, be the enemy of the good?”
“Well, I will not let the wrong be the enemy of the right,” Pelosi fired back.
“What’s wrong with $1.8 trillion?” Blitzer asked.
“You know what, do you have any idea what the difference is between the spending that they have in their bill and what we have in our bill? Do you realize that they’ve come back and said all these things for child tax credits and income tax credits, helping people who’ve lost their jobs are eliminated in their bill?” Pelosi said. “Do you realize that they pay no respect to the fact that child care is very important for people whose children cannot go to school because they’re doing remote learning and yet they minimize the need for child care…”
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“That is precisely why Madame Speaker… it’s so important right now,” Bltizer told Pelosi. “Yesterday, I spoke to Andrew Yang who says the same thing. It’s not everything you want but there’s a lot there.”
“But you know what? Honest to God!” Pelosi complained. “You really- I cannot get over it because Andrew Yang, he’s lovely. Ro Khanna, he’s lovely. They are not negotiating this situation. They have no idea of the particulars. They have no idea of what the language is here. I didn’t come over here- so you’re the apologist for the Obama- excuse me…”
Tensions carried until the very end as Blitzer attempted to wrap up the interview after the speaker accused the anchor of “defending the administration all this time.”
“We’ll leave it on the note that you’re not right on this, Wolf, and I hate to say that to you,” Pelosi told the CNN anchor. “But I feel confident about it and I feel confident about my colleagues and I feel confident in my chairs.”
Blitzer responded, “It’s not about me, it’s about millions of Americans who can’t put food on the table, who can’t pay the rent, and who are having trouble getting by.”
“And we represent them, we represent them,” Pelosi repeated several times over Blitzer.
“As we say, don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good,” Blitzer reiterated.
“It is nowhere near perfect. Always the case, but we’re not even close to the good,” Pelosi shot back. “Thank you for your sensitivity to our constituents’ needs.”
“I am sensitive to them because I see them on the street begging for food, begging for money,” the anchor said.
“Have you fed them?” Pelosi blurted out. “We feed them, we feed them.”
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This isn’t the first time the speaker fiercely attacked a journalist during an interview.
In August, Pelosi lashed out against PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff, accusing her of being an “advocate” for Republicans during another heated exchange on coronavirus relief.