House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a heated interview with a friendly Democratic network CNN, sparred with Wolf Blitzer Tuesday evening that began when she accused ‘The Situation Room’ host of being “an apologist” on Republican position.
The head-to-head showdown began when Blitzer began the show asking Pelosi on why she won’t accept the President Trump’s latest $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus relief offer.
Pelosi defended her action to continue on with negotiating talks rather than accepting the offer, stating the President’s proposal doesn’t accept “three things” while slamming the CNN host for having “no knowledge” on the details of their proposal.
“[Americans] really need the money right now…even members of your own caucus, madam speaker, want to accept this deal,” Blitzer asked, citing comments from fellow California Democrats including Rep. Ro Khanna and former Democratic presidential candidate and now CNN contributor Andrew Yang who called on the House Speaker to accept the “significant” stimulus deal.
Khanna tweeted on Sunday, stating without mentioning names to “do the right thing” instead of being right and “make a deal.”
“People in need can’t wait until February,” the California Democrat wrote, adding: “1.8 trillion is significant & more than twice Obama stimulus. It will allow Biden to start with infrastructure. Obama won in 08 by doing the right thing on TARP instead of what was expedient. Make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court.”
People in need can’t wait until February. 1.8 trillion is significant & more than twice Obama stimulus. It will allow Biden to start with infrastructure. Obama won in 08 by doing the right thing on TARP instead of what was expedient. Make a deal & put the ball in McConnell court. https://t.co/qAEtd049sW
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) October 11, 2020
“Nancy Pelosi take this deal!” Yang tweeted on Saturday. “Put politics aside people are hurting.”
“What I say to you is, I don’t know if you’re always an apologist, and many of your colleagues apologists, for the Republican position,” Pelosi responded. “But it’s no use giving them a false thing just because the President wants to put a check with his name on it in the mail that we should not be doing all we can to help people pay the rent, put food on the table, to enhance benefits, that they don’t lose their jobs if they’re state and local, that they – this – we are talking about the consequences of a pandemic, symptoms of a problem that the President refuses to address and that is the coronavirus.”
The exchange grew even tense when Blitzer asked the House Speaker “what’s wrong with $1.8 trillion?” with Trump tweeting earlier on Tuesday, “Stimulus go big or go home.”
STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2020
“So, why not work out a deal with him and don’t let the perfect, as they say here in Washington, be the enemy of the good?” Blitzer asked Pelosi.
“I will not let the wrong be the enemy of the right,” Pelosi complained, stating the Republican relief “eliminates” credits including “Child Tax” and “Earned Income Tax” from their bill.
“With all due respect, you really don’t know what you’re talking about,” Pelosi added, responding agitated with Blitzer. “I can’t get over it because Andrew Yang, he’s lovely. Ro Khanna, he’s lovely. But they are not negotiating this situation. They have no idea of the particulars. They have no idea of what the language is here. I didn’t come over here to have you – so you’re the apologist.”
The CNN host interjected, asking Pelosi why she wouldn’t call Trump herself to seek out a better stimulus deal.
“Why not call him? And say let’s work out a deal. There are so many Americans in desperate need. Let’s make a deal,” Blitzer asked.
“I don’t speak to the president,” Pelosi fired back. “I speak to his representative.”
She added, “What makes me amused if it weren’t so sad is how you all think that you know more about the suffering of the American people than those of us who are elected by them to represent them at that table.”
Blitzer then mentioned her weekly letter to Democratic colleagues in which she stated their proposal gave Trump too much power in determining how the funds were being spent.
“This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back,” the House Speaker wrote in the letter.
“You wrote a letter to House Democrats and you said… ‘The President only wants his name on a check to go out before election day and for the market to go up.’ Is that what this is about, to not allow the President to take credit if there is a deal that would help millions of Americans right now?” Blitzer pressed. “So many of your fellow Democrats in the House, they want a deal right now.”
“No, I don’t care about that. He is not that important,” Pelosi said before detailing how she brought down her first initial proposal from $3 trillion down to $1.7 trillion while negotiating with Republicans.
“And you don’t care how it’s spent? You don’t care how it’s spent,” she added.
The interview continued to grow tense until the very last second as the CNN host tried to wrap up the 10-minute long exchange with Pelosi continued to accuse him of defending Trump and his administration “all the time with no knowledge of the difference between our two bills.”
Blitzer responded, “It’s not about me, it’s about millions of Americans who can’t put food on the table, who can’t pay the rent, and who are having trouble getting by these long food lines that we are seeing.”
“And we represent them, and we represent them,” the House Speaker repeatedly stated. “We know them. We represent them and we know them. We represent them and we know them.”
“And I am just saying, don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good,” Blitzer reiterated.
“It is nowhere near perfect … we’re not even close to the good,” Pelosi shot back. “Thank you for your sensitivity to our constituents’ needs.”
“I am sensitive to them because I see them on the street begging for food, begging for money,” the CNN host stated.
“Have you fed them?” Pelosi blurted out. “We feed them, we feed them.”
This is the first time Pelosi has verbally attacked an anchor regarding the ongoing stalled stimulus talks. Shortly before Trump signed four executive actions intended to provide temporary relief that expired from the CARES Act, Pelosi lashed out at ‘PBS NewsHour’ anchor Judy Woodruff, also accusing her during the exchange of being an “advocate” for Republicans.