Washington Post Discussion With House Speaker Pelosi CSPAN May 9, 2019 1:51am-2:50am EDT
e-book. at c-span.org/the. s. >> next, house speaker nancy pelosi sits down with robert kosta. during the event hosted by the "washington post," the speaker spoke about the contempt citation against attorney general bar and addressed the 2020 democratic presidential field and how her can work with the president. this runs an hour. >> she's expected to talk about
her priorities under the issues facing congress. what americans can expect from the lawmakers in the months ahead. these conversations explore the fate of the nation's policy agenda where compromise is possible and where it's not. and now the politics of 2020 will affect congresses legislative work today. this morning were fortunate to have the most powerful member of the 116th congress, housespeaker nancy pelosi. speaker pelosi has a habit of making history -- [applause] she has a habit of making history and breaking records. she's the only woman ever to become speaker of the house. she's the first californian to serve as speaker. she is a first person in more than six decades to reclaim the speakers a gavel having held the office before, and she's in charge of an energetic caucus of 235 members with a record-setting 2035 different opinions. [laughter] . >> speaker pelosi's leadership gives her unparalleled insight into the changing nature of america's politics as well as a deep understanding of the most pressing policy challenges facing the nation.
today we'll have a chance to hear from the speaker about why she's against pursuing impeachment charges. what her legislative priorities are. we'll talk with her about immigration, border security, climate change and infrastructure. and we may even get to the subject of next years postinjury -- presidential elections and what quality she would like to see from her parties standardbearer. it's now my pleasure to welcome the speaker of the house nancy pelosi and robert costa. [applause] >> thanks again, madam speaker. pleasure. >> thank you. >> good morning. thank you so much for joining us here in "washington post live" in speaker pelosi, really appreciate your time, never busy
or to come into the "washington ost" to have a conversation. t's start, you're someone -- remarkable a career. understand the power of congress, and you get pressure from the executive branch in recent weeks especially from attorney general william barr. today's house judiciary committee is considering possible contempt proceedings. do you believe he should be held in contempt? >> well, first let me thank you and thank fred for his kind words of introduction, for the opportunity to chat with you. understand some people from trinity college might be in the audience. [applause] >> a great school. >> i want to acknowledge that fred's mom, excuse me, bob's mom -- there's some overriding principles and one of them is the guidance from our founders, e pluribus unum, from many come one. they couldn't imagine how many we would be or how different we would be from each other but
they guided us to remember where one. when we make decisions and prioritize actions and consider options that oneness, what keeps us together as a nation is a very and compelling imperativel so impeachment is a very divisive, very divisive course of action to take. we shouldn't do it for passion or bias. it has to be about the presentation of facts and an has to be about patriotism, not about partisanship. so when you talk about, and fred talked about the diversity in our caucus, i always say diversity is our strength, our unity is our power. so get to your point about power. yes, i think attorney general should be held in contempt. this content is about the
withholding of the mueller report in an unredacted way. the accommodations that the committee has tried to make, whether it's about sources and methods. appreciate protecting sources and methods, some law enforcement concerns. that's not a reason to give us the report. it's an excuse not to give us the report because we all agree that certain things should be redacted. but in the course of accommodations and, boom, the administration just said if you don't, we're going to make this executive privilege, more on the subject and you want to know, yes, should be held in content. -- contempt. that doesn't include his not showing up to testify before the house judiciary committee.
republican majority in the senate. it doesn't include a misrepresenting withholding the truth from the congress. some would call that lying. i don't like that word, but you can't do that. you cannot lie under oath to congress because you are line under oath to the american people. so that's a whole other thing, but for the purpose of the course we're on right now in terms of withholding the information, unredacted version of mueller report for the american people to see and to know. and again, the accommodation that the committee was putting forth, i don't know if that's in the public domain but it was very accommodating. i would have wanted more but the committee in its wisdom had a very measured approach and i think, i don't want to sit anybody surprised nobody should be surprised about anything around here -- [laughter] but it was without -- they're
just come back with a counter offer, but they -- would you bring a contempt resolution to the floor or on the negotiation still ongoing? i'm a big believer in the committee system and i respect the judicial, judiciary committee and jerry nadler is doing a wonderful job as all of our chairman, maxine waters, eliot engel, adam schiff. they mostly have the six committees that are interacting n all of the subjects. and they will today take the action in the committee and then the next step would be to bring it to the floor and we will see what the recommendation is about that. one final thing on the attorney general. if tensions escalate and continue with the ag, is impeachment of mr. barr on the table? >> well, nothing is ever off the table, but i would say that this, everybody would take a deep breath and the almost
prayerful about this. this is a moment, this is a moment in our history where people are talking about, well, isn't indictable and can you prove it in a court? there is something about a sense of decency that should be a standard of performance of all, everyone in public policy, everyone in our country. but for the white house to be just degrading the office that the president holds, degrading the constitution of the united states, degrading the first ranch of government, the legislative branch is not deept. so a sense of decency, a sense of ethical standard, highest ethical standards. i keep saying this doesn't break the law. when would that be supposed to, in congress we have a rule that says you cannot bring discredit to the house of representatives they don't have any sense of that.
how do we honor the vision of our founders about a constitution that is three separate branches of government, checks and balances, separation of power? they didn't want a monarch. childrenations of our every day when they are doing these things. they are taking attention away from other things. things we are doing. when the attorney general was before congress misrepresenting the facts he was at the same time pressing his case to completely eliminate the affordable care act. the attention was on what he was doing. the next day when we passed the action bill on the floor of the house and all the fuss was about what william barr said the day before.
at that same time, the president was undoing regulations for oil drilling that were put in by the obama administration. this has an impact on public policy. they are therefore the special interest. understand that when you are watching and what they all have in common. at gunsident, look violence again today. our hearts are broken. the school shooting in colorado. interests,pecial fossil fuels, whatever it is. that is why they are all in sync. mitch mcconnell, attorney general barr, president trump. robert: you are facing challenges not just from the ag but the white house is citing executive privilege, as they make their case against congress. can you hold him in contempt, mr. mcgann? speaker pelosi: we don't know that he has yet. let's take it one step at a
time. intoresident is goading us impeachment because he knows as to why that is not a good thing. maybe he knows that. he knows i think that. let's put it that way. that every single ,ay whether it is obstruction obstruction, obstruction of having people come to the table with facts. ignoring subpoenas every single day. case.esident is making a he is becoming impeachable in terms of some of the things. robert: that is an important point you made. think of 1974, the article of impeachment against president nixon. article three was about obstruction of congress. abuse of power. ford there be an option
democrats that you would consider in a narrow impeachment proceeding about the errors you raised? speaker pelosi: we have committees doing the investigation. since you mentioned 1974. at that time, congress took months to build a case. it wasn't the judiciary committee. it was the committee doing the investigation. with the information they gathered, they came to that conclusion. and won on a for the people agenda. to lower health care costs by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and pre-existing the condition benefit, making sure that was safe. lower health care costs. bigger paychecks by building infrastructure in a greenway way
for the future. cleaner government. they were our three things. we think we can work with the president on prescription drugs. he says he wants to do that. we think we can work with him on infrastructure. we are in the process of having that discussion, we will see. i don't think he is interested in cleaner government. [laughter] i do think the public is. i will go to that in a moment. people criticizing this say why are we even working with him on anything when he won't give you the information for this, that, and the other thing. i think we have a responsibility to the public to get some results to increase the paychecks and lower health care costs. president, he is the he is not important enough to stand in the way of what we promised the american people that we would do when we won the congress and they gave us the
vote of confidence. robert: look at the "new york times" today, they have a story about the tax returns from 1985-1994. he lost over $1 billion in that decade. what does the information taken from the federal tax information revealed to you about president trump? speaker pelosi: nothing new. [laughter] [applause] nothing new. president of the united states going to try to get some work done with him. we do have a responsibility to our own oath of office to protect and defend the constitution to do just that. don'tes that oath, i think he takes it seriously.
he tells me nothing. it does tell us it would be useful to see his tax returns as the law says. give --nistration shall could,n't say should, under circle circumstances it says shout give those tax returns. far could you go on that front? could you hold the secretary of treasury steven mnuchin in contempt? some democrats have even raised the prospect of arresting the secretary treasury if he doesn't comply with demands. we do have ai: jail in the basement of the capital. [applause] [laughter] arresting all the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation. i'm not for that.
committee, reggie neil has a path. all of this is law and precedent based to do the right thing. of the options is to go directly to court. we will see what the chairman announces. that is the way we do it. robert: you mentioned congress as a coequal branch, you think about all the acting secretaries. they are not coming to congress for approval of cabinet members on many fronts. you have all the resistance to congressional demands. is congress at this moment in history actually functioning as a coequal branch? speaker pelosi: i think we are superior, quite frankly. we have the power to make the law. the president enforces the law.
role closest to the people. we have a big role to play. getting back to those acting. so many people have left the administration in disgrace or dismay. some of the people have a direct financial personal decisionsment over they make in their departments. that is what i don't want to subject themselves to the scrutiny of being confirmed. it is a sad situation. that is a matter for the election to determine. it is only about 18 months away. we are over halfway there. it will be interesting. it shouldn't have to be this way. i have been in congress a long time. i understand we have a difference of opinion in terms of a policy.
you come to congress confident in your point of view but humble enough to listen to other views. you represent your district and other people represent theirs. what the founders had in mind was we have this debate. what is the role of government on the spectrum? how much federal, how much local, how much state? that is exciting. when you have a white house that is antigovernment, anti-science, it is very hard to stipulate a set of facts. we don't want any more government than we need. there is a proper role for governance. president george washington cautioned against political parties at war with their own government. they have acting everything.
acting chief of staff. that doesn't even require congressional approval. we should be very prayerful about this. imagine the courage they had to declare independence. to wage a war against the greatest naval power that existed at the time. to win that war and establish a country predicated on equality of people. thank god that made the constitution amendable so it could live up to the hope and promise. the optimism, the courage. they said this, some of our used abraham lincoln, four score and seven years ago. in the second, at the time,
thomas payne, these are the times that try men's. he also said times have found us. robert: do you feel that about these time? speaker pelosi: i do indeed. the times found our founders. they recognized it. put ourselves in the exalted categories but the urgency of the challenge to our constitution, our democracy. about an investigation into the assault on our elections by a foreign power the president chooses to protect. how would our founders think of that? have your bro told president trump about these concerns face-to-face? president trump about these concerns face-to-face? speaker pelosi: he listens better if you tell the media. [laughter] don't you?
anybodysay anything to -- generally in service of other presidents, i don't have any hesitations to tell them what i would say about them right here. i pray for the president. i really do pray for him. i pray that his heart will open. our country has a heart full of love that seems to be shut down. i pray for him mightily. i pray for the united states of america. robert: senate majority leader mitch mcconnell on the front page of today's post, case closed. speaker pelosi: that is so sad. in for a dime, in for a dollar. he likes to go all the way. my dear husband, he is such a sweet man. for some reason, he is on the mailing list of some republicans. the pitch that mitch mcconnell puts out, imagine if you were running for public office.
robert: no thanks. speaker pelosi: i never thought i would, shy person that i was. pitch for fundraising is that i am the grim reaper. suppose you are running for office, was after your pitch? the grim reaper gives me hope. what an inspiration you are. i'm going to kill every bill that comes over from the house. work,pay for equal violence against women act, net , endingty, dreamers discrimination of lgbtq communities, cleaner government, voting rights act. the list goes on and more. time and action now. for him to say he is the green reaper -- grim reaper, i have
news for him. he may kill these bills but they are alive and well in the public mind. we have chosen specifically those issues that have drawn bipartisan support. finding where we can come together. robert: let's talk about those issues. infrastructure. when you were in the room with the president last week talking about infrastructure. as a veteran leader in democratic politics, how serious is he about getting something done on infrastructure? me tor pelosi: you want be a psychoanalysis? observer, as a leader. speaker pelosi: we have to see everything as an opportunity. he says he wants to do this. 80% of the conversations i have had, he has mentioned that he wants to do infrastructure. that is the donald trump who showed up that day.
he contends that he wants to do it. what is the definition of infrastructure, he doesn't want to do roads. mass transit. broadband to rural america and underserved urban areas. -- some ofdo water our water systems are 100 years old made of brick and wood. , whateverking water it is. whether it is dredging our harbors, facilitating, this has to be a comprehensive approach to it beyond the roads. i think he is at that place. i don't know if he is at the green place but we have to do this in the 21st century. we will see. what was left is investments are we going to make to pay for this? we don't want to increase the national debt, even though i think this will generate jobs immediately, promote commerce,
improve quality of life in terms of keeping people off the roads because we have improve the transit system. the list goes on. clean air, clean water, it is a public health issue. i have to believe he wants to do that. we have to give him every chance to do show. robert: who is in charge on their side? we know the president has his interests, but who is in charge on infrastructure to put together something? speaker pelosi: who is in charge in general? [laughter] it changes. robert: it changes day today sometime? speaker pelosi: i don't know how frequently. wen we did the dreamers and thought we had an agreement with the president on the dreamers, he was so proud of the fact that we came to a bipartisan agreement. he called me that night this is exciting. .ll of a sudden boom
i said the same thing to the white house. who is in charge? the president said he wanted to do this. we just have to be optimistic. first of all, the country needs this. maintenanceensive is no maintenance. danger as well. mobility and remembering -- not remembering but in the history books you would read that president eisenhower did the interstate highway system when he was president. it was as a national security issue. other purposes. it was very bipartisan. lyndon johnson and sam rayburn were the ones who got it through the congress of the united states. do you think taxes or
federal feasible necessarily need to be increased to help pay for a broader package? speaker pelosi: that is what we said to the president. we said when we meet again we .ill hear how they want it we will wait to hear what he wants to do. robert: do you think democrats expect taxes to be raised? speaker pelosi: we will wait to see with the president is willing to support. the official said the president wants a border wall. speaker pelosi: i know, yeah. [laughter] robert: is there any weight is part of an infrastructure deal? speaker pelosi: no. theborder wall is part of immigration conversation. it might surprise you to know the president that i quoted the most in the campaign was ronald reagan. ronald reagan, bless his heart. is the last speech i will
make as president of the united states. does that get your attention from ronald reagan? message to ae a country i love. he talks about the statue of liberty and the beacon of hope it was to the world. what it meant to people in our country who had seen the statue of liberty when they came to our country. you have to google it or however you get your information. president reagan's last speech. vitals on to say the force of america's preeminence in the world is every generation of new immigrants who come to our country and when america fails to recognize them as a vital force, we will fail to be preeminent in the world. we cannot close the door to immigration as a source of our youth and vitality of our country. it keeps america young. talking necessarily in age but in vitality. reagan,t ronald
president clinton, president george w. bush, president barack obama, they all subscribe to newcomers coming to america. aspirations.reams, values.e american many of those people make america more american. all of those presidents in a bipartisan way recognize that. now we have an aberration. reagan said you cannot close the door. the president wants to build a wall. robert: trade talks between u.s. and china have hit a rough patch in recent days. do you agree with the president's approach to these negotiations and the threat of tariffs on friday? speaker pelosi: you were probably just born then but almost 30 years i have been fighting china on trade, human
rights, and proliferation of technologies, whether it is missile systems, ring magnets in centrifuge enrichment of uranium. there is in a day that goes by. to the president that i am not up-to-date on china in terms of security and human rights. now, there are millions in education camps. they are trying to do away with the culture of tibet. they are undermining the -- democratic reforms in hong kong. from a human rights standpoint, a value standpoint, i wonder how those play in the negotiation. themselves onting the security front that has concerns. they had been selling missile
technology to countries of concern. this, it'll be 30 years in another month from the tenement square massacre. within the following year we started to say how can we use our trade situation as a lever to release the prisoners and stop the sale of delivery systems to gain market access? stop the piracy of our and thetual property concerns we had. the trade deficit at the time was $5 billion a year. i thought we would certainly and get arisoners, change in the behavior.
democratic and republican could win the vote in congress but i couldn't override the veto on this. out.will work itself peaceful evolution we call it. do you know the deficit is now? over $5 billion a week. i said of the time, you are deciding to ride the dragon and the dragon will decide when you get off. here we are. the president is correct in asserting what we have to do with china. how he is doing it though is empowering them to hurt our people. robert: what you mean by that? speaker pelosi: i think what time be done is for a long , the chinese ripped us off. they continue to do so. they were using our money and
spending it other places. they were buying from the eu with that money. the eu was giving them a pass on human rights and this, that, and the other. until -- what is a nice word for suckered? up until they suckered them into the web and now the eu has a trade deficit. thought was if you have multilateral approach to this where we are all saying to the chinese, this has to stop. real leverage. instead, the president put tariffs on the eu and made them unhappy with us. the chinese were laughing all the way to the bank. the kind of weakened leverage we could have had working together. wasrt: the stock market rattled yesterday by the president's negotiations with china. betweenconfident a deal this administration and china on a u.s.-china trade deal will
happen this week? speaker pelosi: no. never believed the chinese were going to honor what they said they were going to do. enforcement in any trade agreement? if you don't have enforcement, all you are having is a conversation. have very strong enforcement. i have had chairman of the people's congress. the second most important person in china in my own office say to me when we joined the wto we were told we didn't have to obey all of those rules. wto, they have not abided by this. this is a very major challenge. the president i think is correct to try to change it.
you have to come in with as much strength as possible. morningformed yesterday -- monday morning by the trade representatives that they were just going to take a walk from it. i wasn't surprised. robert: they told you they were going to take a walk this week? speaker pelosi: they said the chinese were going to take a walk. who knows. robert: the new tariffs could probably go in and get installed on friday? speaker pelosi: we will see. you have to take it one day at a time. this was two days ago. i guess friday night the chinese made their decision. i only heard from the trade representative on monday morning. he knows my ongoing interest in china, trade, human rights, and security issues. votet: how far away is a on the overhaul of the north american trade agreement? speaker pelosi: the answer to your question is we are as far away as getting an enforcement
agreement. whatever you want to call it. robert: the administration doesn't want to touch it. again, it isi: enforcement. voted for nafta with certain promises. it never happened. unless you have it built into the agreement if somebody says or writes to you in a letter or implementing language and other legislation is not binding on the other country. it is us talking to ourselves. what i said to the ustr on monday in that same conversation enforcement.
enforcement has to be in the trade agreement. concern, oneas of is what it means to american workers. workers in mexico working for like $1.50 per hour is not helpful to american workers. it throws jobs away. secondly is the environment. that is always part of a concern in our trade agreement. third are the pharmaceuticals. the current certain -- the concern that it will increase the pharmaceuticals in the u.s.. those are the three areas of concern. there are some other issues. those are the three main areas of concern. even if you could come to an agreement on them. if you don't have enforcement it is just a conversation as it is
with the chinese. robert: how do you resolve those issues. mexico's leaders on one side said i don't want any tweaks to the usmca. major labor leaders in the u.s. echo what you have said. 30 to be wholesale changes to a lot of the provisions. how does that get resolved and bring this thing to the floor? speaker pelosi: we have to do what is in the interest of america's workers. we cannot mislead them into thinking there is something. this would be like saying you don't like nafta? let me put a little syrup on top and serve it to you again and you will like it this time. there is no difference. if the administration wants to say we got rid of nafta and what we got looks a lot like it. it is not right. it is not about the politics. it is about opportunity to do the right thing in terms of workers rights in our country
and and there's. onin, there is an impact what the environment, the whole climate issue, there has to be considerations for climate in their and again, this pharmaceutical issue. hear different things. people say i spoke to this person in mexico and they said they are willing to open it up and the canadians say this or that. we're the united states of america, and are we going to, what, just fold? that should have been central to the negotiations to begin with. let me say something about the trade representative lighthizer. he cares about america's workers. he's not one of these trickle down trade workers or if it's
okay for corporate america that should be okay for you, american worker. he's fabulous, but you've got to get the enforcement in the trade agreement or else we are just, it's not a serious thing. hopefully, we will get that soon. i want to get to yes. i just had president trump go speak to the freshman the other day again and in the number of times as has lighthizer and he said we want to get to yes. simple. in the agreement. plus you don't have as much of a change. robert: on the economy, last week's jobs numbers were very strong, administration was touting them. as the leader of the democratic party and to making a case to the country on the economy, people look at those numbers and they say, feeling pretty good. what is your response to the democrats could offer more or do better? show less text -- do better? pelosi: well, again we have to win the election and have the
white house and the senate as well because we simply don't have shared values right now perhaps brats we can do so with the infrastructure as a way to have more of a prosperity spread to many more people and make bigger paychecks for america's families. our members go home every week and it puts her hand on a very hot stove, and the hot stove is the concern america working families have about their financial security or the financial insecurity. and it is, while you might say the indicator, the market is doing this one day and then that another, and these indicators say something. but the fact is that wages are not rising in the way they should by some of the indicators that are there, and unemployment is low, but it is again for jobs that are not producing the wages that people need to meet their needs. and people still scarred by what happened in 2008 where the homes are underwater, their pensions were at risk, living off your savings, their children's education in doubt.
so there's still that concern, and 40% of the american people, you've seen these figures over again, cannot withstand a $500 unforeseen costs, whether it's a water heater or a carburetor whatever happens to be. so while the president's 1% is doing beautifully, and if they are trickle down, we are double -- bubble up. we think there has to be much more in terms of that's why with equal pay for equal work for one of the bills we sent to mitch mcconnell that he said he'sgoing -- he's going to grimly reap. the second is $15 minimum wage fight for 15 which we will be sending them soon. but you have to do something big like infrastructure challenge. but you can't measure the economic well-being of our country as to how it affects the 1%.
h.r. one for us was cleaner government. stop voter suppression, gerrymandering, all the rest of that. their there h.r. one was to attack scams and give 83% of the benefits to the top 1% and our country. buying back their stocks which contributed to the market going up, but it is down today. as you can see, it is volatile. when you ask people, when you see the people we represent, they are really pleading with us to get results for them in terms of economic security. and healthcare is a very big piece of their financial security. it's not just a a health issue. it's a financial security issue. increasing their paycheck is very important to them. so unless we are moving in that direction, you can of all the -- have all the indicators you want.
the when that means something in these lives is how they're going to pay their bills, their kitchen table, they're concerned about the boardroom table. we're concerned about the kitchen table. robert: and you saw secretary of state mike pompeo was in iraq yesterday meeting with officials there. concerned about iranians possible threats against u.s. troops. has congress been briefed about what going on? rep. pelosi: i think we're negotiating on what that is. i said today or tomorrow we want to know right away because there some people are saying the administration is -- robert: preparing for war. rep. pelosi: and they're describing things in a way that is not consistent with the facts, but we'll see. just give us the briefing. we've had no success in getting briefings in congress and the united states on north korea. they just said no.
we're not coming. and that again is how are we going to do our job if they're not giving us the information and we have to depend on what they tell us is happening there. he's in love with kim jong-un. well, we're not. so let's have that briefing. so hopefully today or tomorrow, and have to bahrain seen the office of naval intelligence and you can see i ran practically from where our present is. so if there's some threat we want to know about it. but the fact is that in terms of iran, it is really hard understand the agenda that the president has brought to the table. what bidding is he doing to walk away from the iran nuclear agreement, and that is something that is very important to us to stop a country from producing a nuclear weapon. and they walked away from that.
now, the iranians are saying they may walk away from it as well, which will be very dangerous to the world. this ratcheting up -- we want to see the briefing. it is hard to speak about it -- robert: do you think that this administration is considering military action against iran? rep. pelosi: if they are considering military action against iran, they cannot engage in that without coming to congress, and have to make their case. i read someplace that it may not be so, but i read someplace, it is so that a read someplace that pompeo is saying we can use use of force that took us into afghanistan as the basis for going here. that's just simply not so. it's simply not so, and so they would have to make their case. there is no appetite in our country for war. we have to have peaceful
resolution whatever it is. if you're not capable of that, then that's something that has to be part of the national discussion. same thing in venezuela. we have to have a peaceful resolution of what is happening there, but it don't put that in the same category of the threat they are making in iran. it's really sad. because the iran nuclear agreement was an actually masterful, masterful diplomatic achievement that china and russia, who never want to say anything against iran. why? because iran is a muslim state that could export some fundamentalism to their regions and has her own pragmatic reason why they would never say anything about iran, but they did in this case. the nobel laureates of nuclear physicists, and the rest of that, they said this should be a model, the template for any agreement on nonproliferation that we have.
so from a technical standpoint, from a diplomatic standpoint, remarkable achievement, but the president wanted to undo that and now, without getting the briefing, it is really hard to understand -- i was don't you want to go there because this is deadly serious, what they are talking about. until we get the briefing, i just don't -- i don't know why they're doing what they're doing. are we against what iran does in terms of supporting groups that we -- that can be considered terrorist groups in the region, ballistic missiles and the rest? yes, and we had sanctions against all of that, but one place we could come to agreement is you must stop development of
nuclear weapon, and they agreed to do that. now the president is putting sanctions on those who are not following our path. let's see what they have to offer in the briefing. robert: staying with the middle east for one more issue, there's been a lot of debate in your conference in recent months about the issue of israel. you're the leader of the democratic party. when you think about the recent violence on the gaza strip, what is the democratic view of what's happened there and what perhaps should happen? rep. pelosi: well, let's just say, let me just say that iq -- the establishment of the state of israel is one of the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century, political,call it political official establishment of a country. it was so exciting. israel, we have shared values, our friend in the middle east for a long time. our only friend, our most
serious friend in the middle east, let me put it that way. so israel's security is very, very important to us. many of us support a two-state solution that has a secured jewish state and a state for the palestinians to reach the ir fulfillment, as well. what's happening there is in some ways moving away from that, but again, a peaceful resolution of that is what members of congress by and large wood -- would support. there are some who have said things that are not a reflection of our consensus, you know, and we have pointed that out but again, israel's security is important to us. we think is real security is for -- further insured by having a two-state solution and we don't want to move away from that. we've been waiting for over a
year -- i was in israel last year around passover easter and we were told that the president's plan was imminent. now, that was in the end of march of last year. we are 13 months past there and we keep hearing his proposal is imminent. maybe it is. we'll see. but again, we have to find peaceful ways to resolve the conflict. robert: in the final few minutes, speaker pelosi, some politics, and i am a political reporter -- [laughter] rep. pelosi: well, ok. if you insist. robert: will you endorse in the presidential primary? rep. pelosi: no. i think all the candidates are fabulous and anyone of them would be a better president than the current occupant. [applause] robert: what explains vice president biden's lead in the polls. rep. pelosi: what explains it? joe biden.
i think that is self explanatory. well, let's see. here's what i think. i think, and i say this to people when they want to run for president or governor or mayor or speaker or whatever, in the executive, or even for congress of the united states or state or local government, if you want to go into the arena, show your vision. what is your why? why do you want to get into the arena? what is motivating you is an education, climate change, juvenile justice? is it fairness in our economy? what is drawing you into that? what do you know about that subject that you can exchange ideas with people about? where is your plan to get more people involved to accomplish your goal, to fulfill your vision-based on your knowledge and judgment enhanced by others knowledge and judgment? all of that is important.
we've had beautiful candidates who have all the vision, all the knowledge and experience and judgment and all the strategic -- you want plans? i've got plans, go to my website. that's all of you. the fourth point is in the heart. who connects with the american people? who connects? authenticity is everything. are you sincerely concerned about my situation? hopes and dreams, aspirations, apprehensions? and when we watch this presentation and the debates and the campaign, we will see who connects? i is not a question of who am going to endorse? it is a question of the american people have the comfort level with. [applause] robert: so you're looking for is most authentic rather than was most liberal? rep. pelosi: i think they're all authentic, but the american people have to feel that connection, connection.
i told you, i was showing some of the folks backstage, i was in chicago monday for a women's event, over 3000 women women came to a fundraiser for jan schakowsky, my colleague. people came through. they had buttons of this, that, and the other thing here when -- one issue or that, and the one i love the best is democrat for president. [laughter] [applause] rep. pelosi: so i carry that around with me. robert: any thoughts on vice president biden's rollout so far? rep. pelosi: i think he's done a good job. but again, it's not up to me to decide. it is how the public public -- he's a known quantity. i just tell me about joe biden. -- tell you about joe biden. i mean, he's a lovely person he really is. and the measure of that for me is my kids. my kids for years they love joe biden and now my grandchildren
love joe biden. i tell a story because we went, he appeared something for us in new york. i had taken my grandchildren to europe. now their ten and 11, 11 and 12. when they were small we went to a candy store after that, and they had chairs that rollaround, different things like that. so the children decided they're going to put up a gate and have the own open sesame. you can get candy if you could say the magic word. but the magic word today -- they decidedly not open sesame. it was "open biden." i found that to be an interesting emotional connection with the children. he is a beautiful lovely man. they are all -- let me just say -- robert: do think the female candidates in the race for getting enough attention. rep. pelosi: is never. never enough attention. never enough attention, no. please. it's a funny thing.
we just have to set our sights in a little bit of a different way. it's just almost -- i don't know, that's a whole other session. robert: come back for that. rep. pelosi: i could show you as a woman speaker. now i get lot more attention. when i was speaker before it was like, what's that? robert: people -- speaker of the house. rep. pelosi: no, but i mean when it was a man it was what did they say? what did they say? so i think we have broken through that. one of the things, i'll close by saying this, time to close, one of the reasons people say you're not some modest as you used to be. you give everybody else credit. i still do but i say this because i want women to have confidence to go out there and be themselves and know their power and just understand that it's important for women. the most wholesome thing we can do for our political and governmental process is to have more women in leadership roles there and participate. [applause]
and we work very hard as house democrats. we have 115 women members of congress. 91 are democrats because we made a decision to say know your power to the women. we need you here. so you have to take credit. i say you are like nancy pelosi unplugged. you are out there saying we did this and we did that and were going to do that and don't you dare do that, because i want women to say take credit. you don't have to take credit for something you didn't do but don't hesitate to be competent -- confident about what you have done. because self-promotion is a terrible thing, but sometimes, somebody has to do it. [laughter] rep. pelosi: and clearly, women have to do it. i think we should almost, i don't want to say over compensate for the attention we have not given to women in the
public arena, but we certainly had have to give them their fair share. the women candidates are just absolutely great. but any event, i thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts this morning. again, let's be prayerful. let's take a deep breath and be prayerful because the times have found us. all of you in this room, too, for the role you will play to save our constitution and our democracy. robert: speaker pelosi, thank you so much. rep. pelosi: thank you. my pleasure. [applause]