Pelosi: Hillary's Vote For Iraq War Does Not Disqualify Her; "Important" To Elect First Woman President


QUESTION: Lincoln Chafee is considering running as a Democrat for president.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Why did I not think that would be the first name out of your mouth?

QUESTION: He said earlier this week that any Democrat who voted for the Iraq war should be disqualified as being your party's nominee. You called the Iraq war among other things “a grotesque mistake.” He was implying that Hillary Clinton should not be the nominee. If you don't agree with Lincoln Chaffey, why not?

NANCY PELOSI: If we are relitigating the Iraq war, let me say that in the House of Representatives. We saw things differently in a majority of House Democrats voting against the Iraq war. I was, at the time -- self-serving, self-serving -- see that light go on -- self-serving.

I was top Democrat on the intelligence committee at the time. As such I was required to receive all of the intelligence. I said at the time, the intelligence does not support the threat. I had better access than everybody. I couldn’t really say what I saw.

They said are you calling the president a liar. I said I’m stating a fact; the intelligence does not support the threat. My members had confidence this me. On the strength of that many of them voted against it. Some of them were never going to vote for the war any way. They did thank me afterward.

I was very, it was a few leaders. I wasn't a leader then but I was few of the persons that had all these years of experience on intelligence and national security. They trusted my judgment…

I can say of that a message was given to the American people by the White House that was not true, misrepresented the concern that was out there and created an atmosphere where unless you really studied this carefully, and I’m not saying everybody had access to that material, and they didn't. I was in a special place.

But I don't think a vote on a war 13 years ago, 14 years ago; the vote was '02, right now…

Again, Hillary Clinton has been a strong -- she comes to this, yes, as a woman. That happens to be that she's a woman. She’s so qualified. She has had great national security experience as a member of the armed services committee and secretary of state.

For these and so many reasons she'll be one of the strongest, best prepared people to enter the oval office in a long time. There are some others but she will be among the best prepared to serve as president.

A war vote is a vote that everybody makes on the basis of what think know, what they believe, who they trust. There’s large number of people who supported the war. The consequences have been terrible in terms of what it meant to our veterans and the rest of
that, but no. the answer is no. I don't think it should disqualify her…

What’s important is what it would mean to elect a woman president of the United States. It’s a very mayor or consideration. A very qualified woman to be president of the United States. Not just that she is a woman. When I became even whip, the response was so overwhelming from people saying how encouraged they were that we had broken not the glass ceiling, that's nothing. We’re talk about the marble ceiling.

Especially encouraging was notes from dads, fathers, saying I have so much confidence in my daughter. I know she can do anything. Most people don’t even know there is a Speaker… it is not a common awareness, but imagine if that was the response, then what it mean to have a woman president not only to the American people and women in our country and families but to the world to see that. I think it would mean a lot. Elections are about the future. They’re not about what happened 13 years ago. I don’t do politics in the Capitol. They’re about the future and that's really what people want to hear.

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