Pelosi: Democratic Party Is Proud Of Ideological Diversity; "We Can Accommodate That"


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joins Fox News Channel host Chris Wallace for an expansive interview about the Trump administration, health care reform, and the future of the Democratic Party.

Pelosi speaks highly of President Trump's new chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly:

PELOSI: Well, let me take the second part -- I hope so. I look forward to working with General Kelly. I've worked with him as -- with Secretary Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security. So I will be speaking with him today and look forward to working with him. It's a very important position, the president -- the chief of staff to the president of the United States. And it has to be recognized that he is the chief of staff.

About the future of the Democratic Party, she says:

WALLACE: OK. I want to a move to another subject. The Democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said something interesting the other day and I want to ask you about it. We're going to put it on the screen.

When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don't blame other things, Comey, Russia, you blame yourself. So, what did we do wrong? People didn't know what we stood for, just what that we were against Trump, and still believe that.

We're going to get to your new agenda in a minute, but I want to ask you the specific questions, do you agree with Senator Schumer that Russia and Come were not what beat Hillary Clinton?

PELOSI: Well, I think that they had influence. There's absolutely no question about that. But when you have a campaign, you're responsible for your campaign.

I don't even want to go in to that. I do want to go in to our better deal. Let me --

WALLACE: OK, I'm going to ask you about it because Democrats put out a new agenda this week called "A Better Deal". Let's put some of it up on the screen.

You call for higher wages, lower prescription drug costs, as you said, job training, infrastructure.

Leader Pelosi, I'm not saying anything, any of that is wrong.

PELOSI: Right.

WALLACE: What I am saying is that none of it is new. We've been hearing it for years. We heard it from the Democrats and Hillary Clinton in 2016 and you lost.

PELOSI: Now -- well, we're going to hear with more clarity. For the first time since 2006, the House, the congressional Democrats are in charge of the message. In '06, we were in charge, we won. We had a Democratic president after that in '08, and that time line, a very successful presidency.

Now, it's our turn to win the Congress for the American people. But elections are more about -- than about winning election. They're about having a discussion to how we go forward.

WALLACE: But they're all about winning the election. That's what an election --

PELOSI: No, no. No, it's about winning on the issues. I mean, in other words, if the American people can hold all of us, Democrats and Republicans, accountable, for what is in their interest, instead of a trickle-down agenda that really benefits the high end at the expense of working families. That's why a better deal is important and it is entrepreneurial in its thinking. It's fresh in terms of what it suggests.

WALLACE: But let me ask you this -- there were four special House elections in this spring in which there were Republican seats that were opened because they put jobs in the Trump administration -- let me finish -- in the Trump administration.

PELOSI: No, I'm agreeing with you.

WALLACE: And you lost all four of them. Some of your own Democratic colleagues in the House say part of the problem is that you and your leadership team are, frankly, too old. And the question I have is: does -- do Democrats need new leaders with new ideas?

PELOSI: But let me just say this, self-promotion is a terrible thing, but somebody has got to do it.

WALLACE: Exactly. I agree with you on that.

PELOSI: And I think that the situation that we are in, I am a master legislator. I know the budget to the n-th degree. I know the motivation of people. I respect the people who are in Congress.

I think this is a great moment for those of us who understand what is stake with the Affordable Care Act, what our possibilities are in terms of working together with the Republicans as has been our experience in the past. So, I feel very confident about the support I have in my caucus.

WALLACE: Let me just ask you one --

PELOSI: I've never -- I have never not been opposed within my caucus, and it had nothing to do with support. Suppose you became president and you were a Democrat, and you appoint your cabinet, one from San Francisco, one from Berkeley, one from Brooklyn, one from Santa Monica, do you think that the Republicans could have ever won one those seats? These seats were not seats --

WALLACE: OK. I got 30 seconds and the question is, what are the chances Democrats win back the House in 2018? And if so, will you run for speaker?

PELOSI: It's so unimportant. What is important is that we have a lively debate on a better deal, better pay, better jobs, and a better future. And that's what we look forward to having. We have unity in our party. You saw with the fight on Affordable Care Act in the House and in the Senate.


PELOSI: We are very proud of the fact that our party has diverse thinking in it. We can accommodate that.

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