Transcript of Pelosi Interview on ABC's The View
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined ABC's The View to discuss the President’s decision to walk away from COVID relief talks and other news of the day. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Whoopi Goldberg. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is fighting a lot of battles on Capitol Hill right now. So, we are glad she found some time to come and join us. Please welcome back, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Speaker Pelosi. Good morning.
Whoopi Goldberg. Joy?
Joy Behar. So, thank you, Nancy for being here today on my birthday. I couldn't do better than you, the most powerful woman in the world right now. Well, certainly in the country. So, you know –
Speaker Pelosi. Well, happy birthday to you, Joy. Happy birthday to you.
Joy Behar. Thank you, Nancy.
Speaker Pelosi. I know that Whoopi wore her red sweater in honor of your birthday. I wore my Italian jacket in honor of our Italian-American heritage to wish you a happy birthday today. I hope you enjoy it.
Joy Behar. Thank you.
Speaker Pelosi. We’ll celebrate tonight during the debate.
Joy Behar. That's right. We are paisan under the skin.
Joy Behar. So let's talk about what you are being put through because you have spent the past several months working on a coronavirus stimulus package, basically, to bring financial aid to millions of Americans who are desperately in need of money. But yesterday, Trump threw all of that into disarray by abruptly calling off the negotiations until after the election. Then – I’m not done with this – then late last night, he backtracked and he said he would sign bills for the stimulus checks and only to help airlines and small businesses. What exactly is he up to, Nancy? What's going on?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, it's hard to see any clear, sane path in anything that he's doing. But the fact is that he saw the political downside of his statement of walking away from the negotiations, negotiations to honor our heroes, our health care workers, first responders, teachers, teachers, teachers, transportation, sanitation, food workers, who make our lives possible, and walked away from our opportunity to crush the virus so we could open our schools and our economy safely, and he walked away from putting money in the pockets of the American people in a way that will make a difference in their lives.
It’s interesting that he said he would send out the checks if we just sent him that bill, because all he has ever wanted in the negotiation was to send out a check with his name printed on it. Forget about the virus. Forget about our heroes. Forget about our children and their need to go to school safely, and the rest. So he's just, again, rebounding from a terrible mistake that he made yesterday, and the Republicans in Congress were going down the drain with him on that.
Ana Navarro. So let me – let me just say that I think all of us, our thoughts are with all the people who are directly affected by this, the 32,000 flight attendants that have been furloughed.
Speaker Pelosi. Yeah.
Ana Navarro. But, you know, I have a question which is, just three days before all of this, on Saturday, Trump seemed to be on a completely different page.
Speaker Pelosi. Yes.
Ana Navarro. He tweeted, ‘Our great USA wants and needs stimulus. Work together – work together and get it done.’ Imagine. And then they say women are moody. So, what do you think is causing this erratic behavior? What's your explanation?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I think it's true to form. I think that the President has always had erratic behavior. Right now, it's very, very dangerous because he knows the danger of the virus, but he is in denial, as he was right from the start. Denial, delay, distortion and look what has happened to our country, to the lives and livelihood of the American people and the life of our democracy as he tries, again, to go forward to suppress the vote in the election.
So, I could never explain to you any rational, linear path of action on the part of the President, but I will say this: it is really important for us to come to this agreement. When the President just popped off and made that announcement without even informing us that that was the case, he insulted the Constitution of the United States. This is not a personal thing with him that he can send out checks with his name on it. This is the American – the money of the American people, and our priority in our country is we must crush the virus, and we must honor the people who are hard at work doing that, and we must address the consequences of it. So, again, what he does do is enable us all only to be talking about him.
Let's – my whole thing in politics is about the children. And the minute he said that last night – yesterday, I thought: you are really hurting America's children. Children are struggling to deal with the changes in school, who need it to be a safe place for them to work, either from home or at school. It is about the children, and the Child Tax Credit that we had not gotten them to agree to. It is about the children and the issues that relate to the affordable – excuse me, the virus and how it affects them. It's about the children and how they exist in families that are food insecure and on the verge of eviction. So, as soon as he said that, I thought, if you cared about America's children, you would know you cannot go down this path.
Again, we have to crush the virus, and we have a plan to do that, and he just has ignored it for a long time, but let's talk about what the possibilities are. Our plan, and the plan of Joe Biden is one. Of course, we would like the plan to be implemented right now. We wanted it implemented months and months ago, but the Administration has resisted. I can’t answer that question, why they would ignore science, they would ignore the role of governance and trying to get it done, except that they don't believe in science and they don't believe in governance. But let's just start with thinking about the children, and whatever actions have – and how it affects the children.
Whoopi Goldberg. Well, one should also say that the doctors might want to step in and see how much of the medication is working here because they're steroids. I’ve been on steroids. I know what they do to your thinking. And so, that's something someone should really be monitoring because, you know, it's not easy when someone is in this kind of steroid high.
When was the last time you had an actual conversation with him? Do you – I remember the last time I saw you do it on television, and it didn't seem like it went that well. So, do you – is it time to pick up the phone? Do you want to go over to the White House? What's the best way to work this out now?
Speaker Pelosi. I wouldn't go anywhere near the White House. It's one of the most dangerous places in the country, both in terms of the assault that it makes on truth, as well as health.
Last time I had an interaction with the President was the State of the Union Address, and then after that – you know, I tore up the speech and all – but after that, I said to my staff, I said, ‘I think he was medicated.’ There's something wrong with how he came on and presented. I said yesterday to my colleagues, I said, there are those who say that steroids has an impact on people's thinking. I don't know, but there are those health care providers who say that. Also, if you have the coronavirus, it has an impact as well. So, the combination is something that should be viewed.
But again, there are enablers around the President who really should know better, who should really know better. And the Republicans in Congress have enabled so much of this to happen without saying: Look, we're here to address the needs of the American people, crush the virus, honor our heroes, put money in the pockets of the American people, support our elections with funding to make sure that they are safe for people to go, so they're not risking their health to do that. Honor the Census. These are areas of disagreement that we were hoping to find agreement on including safety in the workplace. So, it's a challenging time.
Whoopi Goldberg. Sara?
Sara Haines. Speaker, in his tweet yesterday, President Trump accused you of not negotiating in good faith, and only seeking a bailout for poorly run, high-crime Democrat states and things unrelated to COVID like a $15 billion bailout of the Post Office and $270 million in grants for the arts and humanities. As of this morning, you have still been talking with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but not making – why are you not making more concessions to get Republicans on board and pass something? Isn't that better than nothing at this point?
Speaker Pelosi. No, I don't think so. I think it's a missed opportunity. We came down, Chuck Schumer and I, Leader Schumer – who I know was recently a guest, he enjoyed it, as we all did. We came down $1 trillion and then we came down $200 billion more.
You should ask them why they don't want to put food on the table, rent in the pockets of the American people, crush the virus, support our heroes and the rest. Our bill is scientifically, institutionally, academically documented to meet the needs of the American people. When we cut back, we were cutting on the timing, but not the priorities, the timing of the bill. We could find our common – the – many more needs have emerged. More needs have emerged and that's part of the negotiation and how we allocate the resources.
Whoopi Goldberg. Speaker Pelosi, hold on. We're going to go and come back with more with you. We'll be right back, y'all.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you.
Whoopi Goldberg. And we're back with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Sunny?
Sunny Hostin. Yes, Speaker, a Cornell study determined that President Trump is the largest source of misinformation surrounding the coronavirus, and now he himself has become infected with the virus. We now know that there are actually 24 COVID cases linked to the White House's coronavirus cluster. And we learned just yesterday that most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are now quarantining after Admiral Charles Ray, the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard tested positive. It just seems to me that this has become a grave matter of national security. You're second in line to the presidency. How concerned should we be?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I think we should be concerned because of the virus and its viciousness, but also because of the denial that the President is in, saying things like ‘don't worry about it,’ you know, those – ‘don't be afraid of it’ and all that, because people have lost their loved ones.
As a mother of five and a grandmother of nine, I worry so much about my children, but I think about children across the country who have lost their parents, their siblings, their grandparents, their friends in school and the rest to this virus, and there's something wrong about the disconnect between what the President's responsibilities are and what's happening.
That's why I think that there has to be an intervention in terms of people around him to say, for the good of the country so that no more people get infected and die, we have to have – we have to have a plan that recognizes the danger, and the dangers struck right into the Oval Office, to the President of the United States.
We pray for him, for his family, for his work force, but we also pray for the over 200,000 people who died and their families and the 7.5 million people who are infected. From my standpoint as second in line, and God willing none of that ever plays in, I am getting tested, and of course, the tests have not – have been good news as the doctors said, good news, and continue to be tested.
But it is something that is just bigger than the executive suite at the White House and the succession. I think that tonight at the debate it should be all about health care, health care, health care. The President said he wanted to stop the negotiations so the Senate could focus solely on nominating – addressing the nomination for the Supreme Court so the person could be there to overturn the Affordable Care Act. It should be about health care in terms of Mike Pence being the head of the Task Force on the Coronavirus. Really? What level of success does he have to offer in that regard?
Joy Behar. Exactly.
Speaker Pelosi. Except the success of denial.
Joy Behar. Right.
Speaker Pelosi. So, in any case, I'm taking precautions, but again, we're hoping and praying that everybody in line ahead of me gets well very soon, and that we all vote health four weeks from now. Four weeks from now minus one day, everybody makes a vote for their health.
Joy Behar. Okay, so Nancy, I'm dreaming of the day we say President Nancy Pelosi. I think that sounds really good, but the polls are showing that Biden is ahead in key swing states. It's very encouraging in many ways, Pennsylvania, et cetera, but I'm still worried that they could steal this election. I know that the Russians are still involved. Trump's own Department of Homeland Security just released a report warning that Russia is a key threat to the election. Now, we knew this going into 2016 too, and we saw how that turned out. This is why I'm not counting my chickens at all. I'm still nervous. People have to vote, and we have to win in a landslide. How concerned are you about that?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I'm concerned, but I don't – my motto is we don't agonize. We organize, and I have no doubt that the President in typical fashion will lie, cheat and steal to win this election. So, we are prepared for that. I'm sorry to have to say that, by dint of being Speaker of the House and that he's President of the United States, but that is the reality.
He's tried to dismantle the Postal Service to undermine vote-by-mail. He's welcoming, inviting practically Russian interference into our elections. The voter suppression and intimidation that he is bragging about practically that they are engaged in is really a shame in terms of our Constitution and our sacred right to vote.
But again, we're ready. We're ready, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that no matter how he tries to declare victory or undermine the Electoral College or try to win in the House, as he's bragging now he's going to win in the House. I will assure you of this, free and fair election, Joe Biden will be inaugurated and Kamala Harris inaugurated President and Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021.
Whoopi Goldberg. Well, I'm thrilled to hear you say that because over the last few days, you know, we've seen court decisions and government orders in states like South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas that could have a major effect on voters casting their ballots both by mail and in person.
So, I have two questions. What's your advice to people so they are confident that their vote is and will count? And why do you think people feel they have to steal the election? Is it because they have no plans to move the country forward? I'll take the first answer as to what people should do from you. What should people do?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I think that people should have a plan to vote and to vote early if possible. They can go to IWillVote.com. That will tell them how they can vote by mail if they choose that, or how they can safely vote in person in their particular state. Because different states have different rules, and then of course, they can find out if they are registered currently, appropriately and if not, how they can do so.
It's also important to get the guidance to make sure you have followed all the instructions because they will have tens of thousands of lawyers out there to say, you didn't sign it right or this doesn't look like your signature. They're out there to undermine the election, and why? Because they know they cannot win on the up and up. People are – they understand what is at stake in this election.
Whoopi Goldberg. Yeah.
Speaker Pelosi. Our very democracy, and that's why they're doing this.
Whoopi Goldberg. You have to just keep coming back, whenever you have, like, a couple of minutes. We know you're busy right now, but at some point, come back and talk with us some more. It's always a pleasure.
Our thanks to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and we will of course, be right back.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you. Happy birthday again, Joy.