REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The argument against President Bush was about a president and an administration that sent us into a war based on a false representation of a threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That's a major accusation against the president, and I, myself, said that at the time. You know, in 2002 when the bill came up. The intelligence does not support the threat that the president -- not the president, his administration is contending.
Having said that, it's not about impeaching the president. It's about putting the country through that. I thought what the Republicans did to President Clinton was shameful, irresponsible, and wrong for the country. And what he did was stupid, but it had nothing to do with public policy and his office, his responsibility and his office.
I do think people could have made a case about President Bush, but I did not want to go down that path because of what it would mean for the American people. We've just tried to impeach -- well, we did impeach but did not remove from office one president in a very irresponsible manner in my view on the part of the Republicans in the House at the time.
And I thought it was time for us to address -- try to end that war, which we voted to do, and the president vetoed our bill, but to deal with it in a policy way rather than take us down that path. So, for even the Republicans now to be talking about suing the president, what are we talking about here? Let's get to work. We are legislators. They're not effective legislators, so they're changing the subject all the time.
But the fact is, and it comes to executive orders, President Reagan had 381 executive orders. President George W. Bush had 291. President Obama has 181 with two years to go in his term. So this is, again, subterfuge -- it's a distraction. It's an I don't know how to do what I'm supposed to do here so let me think of something else to do. It's totally irresponsible of them to be suing the president.
And the reason, to get back to your question, I did not encourage those who wanted to move to impeach the president -- although they had an argument -- was that it wasn't something that I wanted to put the country through. It's an opportunity cost of great magnitude in terms of what we are here to do to meet the needs of the people. It's a cost to our reputation in the world. We get a new president and we'll find a reason to impeach him.
Although, I would say that the case against what the Republican administration did taking us into war and what they knew was a false premise was far more serious than anything Bill Clinton did in his off hours.