Sarah Sanders: Nancy Pelosi Should Smile More


White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to CNN's Chris Cuomo the morning after Donald Trump's State of the Union address.

CUOMO: That room last night was grossly divided. I've never seen Nancy Pelosi's face like that. The president made some outreach to them, but he was focusing mostly on the Democrat -- on the Republican side. How can he unify that room?

SANDERS: I think doing exactly what he did last night. And I'm going to be a little bit in disagreement with you. I think Nancy Pelosi looks like that all the time. I think she should smile a lot more often. I think the country would be better for it. She seems to kind of embody the bitterness that belongs in the Democrat Party right now. I think last night was a good step forward. Hopefully they can let go of some of that. And they have to make a big decision. They need to decide, Chris, do they love America more than they hate this president, and are they willing to put some of those differences aside, come together and do what's right for this country.

CUOMO: A fundamental disagreement isn't where's the hate, because, you know, Nancy Pelosi would argue, has argued, on this set that it is righteous indignation that you see coming from her, the way last night the president identified the people who killed the children of those African-American couples that were there last night as illegal entrance (ph) as minors. They took it as code for dreamers. That you're trying to villainize this group of people.

SANDERS: Look, there was -- there was no code. The president could not have been more clear. He has laid out exactly what he wants to see in an immigration reform plan. All of the things he has laid out are thing that Democrats have supported. Bill Clinton got a standing ovation for using similar language in one of his State of the Union Addresses by both Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats have voted to end the visa lottery system. They support a pathway to citizenship. These are things that the president has given and laid out a good and solid compromise that frankly everybody should be excited about. Democrats and Republicans should both be celebrating. As the president said, everybody didn't get everything they wanted, but the country is getting what they need. And it's time for both Republicans and Democrats to come together and put some of that common sense solution forward.

CUOMO: Message versus messenger. Clinton -- some of the language is changed (ph). You know you have problems. You know you have to make the process better in terms of who gets into this country and also whom you decide to throw out. But the motivating ethos from Clinton, the idea was, we are our diversity. The feeling is with this president, he sees diversity as a minus. Not one story last night -- and, by the way, the president did a good job articulating people's stories last night and it's very powerful for the audience and for the media. But not one about a successful dreamer. Not one.

SANDERS: Look --

CUOMO: Although he did say all Americans are dreamers, which, again, is not only not true, but I didn't understand the point of doing that.

SANDERS: Look, the president has committed to solving this problem. He has said he wants to find a solution, and he's laid one out. Democrats don't have a message. They simply are sitting on their hands and being angry instead of coming to the table to have real negotiations.

CUOMO: Because they believe it's a policy of exclusion. Because he has (INAUDIBLE).

SANDERS: How is it a policy of exclusion, Chris, when the president, frankly, went further than Barack Obama ever did as president. He -- he has tripled the number of people that he has included in this program.

CUOMO: Fair point.

SANDERS: That is the opposite of exclusion. That is broadening the spectrum and taking it a much step further.

The idea that Democrats are saying that this president is not being inclusive and is not try to put an actual solution on the table is, frankly, laughable and they should be embarrassed that they are trying to peddle that kind of just false premise, because it's just frankly not true.

CUOMO: Well, the premise is this. With one hand he gives, pathway to citizenship. Going to be hard to sell in party to party, by the way. With the other hand he's taking away, and that there are obviously at least two of these pillars, if not three, are designed to limit who comes into this country and what types of people come into this country, which is what the Democrats are trying to protect against.

So the practical problem becomes -- you have two of them. The first one is this. Do you have two pillars too many? Do you think you can get any deal that goes beyond dealing with DACA and security? It seems like the Democrats will give you security, vernacular about the wall will be an issue. But the other two may be a bridge too far.

SANDERS: But you can't just do partial security. It has to be the whole thing, otherwise we're dealing with the same situation in two, three, four, five years. The president doesn't want to kick the can down the road anymore. He wants to be able to sit down with Democrats, sit down with Republicans and say, look, we have a problem with the DACA system. Let's fix it.

We have 1.8 million people. Let's give them a pathway. But, at the same time, let's make sure we don't find ourselves back here again. That's why you can't just have one or two pillars. You have to have all four. The same reason a stool doesn't work with two legs. You've got to have all of that.

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