Transcript of Pelosi Interview on MSNBC's The ReidOut with Joy Reid
Sep 10, 2020
Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Joy Reid on MSNBC's The ReidOut to discuss the more than 100 days since the House passed the Heroes Act, Senate Republicans’ empty COVID relief proposal and other news of the day. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Joy Reid. I’m joined now by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives. And, Speaker Pelosi, thank you so much for being here.
I must start by asking you about these fires that are happening in California. I’m going to put a pin in Mr. Dobbs for just a moment and the Republican defense of Trump. More than 3.1 million acres have burned, twice the size of Delaware, and that's just in California. Twelve people have died and it's in multiple states at this point. I just want to ask you about your constituents, the state of things in California.
Speaker Pelosi. Well, thank you very much for starting with that, Joy.
Here we are, on the eve of 9/11, the 19th anniversary of 9/11 as we are filled with sadness, continue to be filled with sadness about those who lost their lives at that time and since from consequences of 9/11. That was going to be our focus this week.
We have these fires in California and in the west, sixteen people have died in Washington, Oregon and California, including a firefighter and a one-year-old baby. Our firefighters have been so very, very courageous now, we're, again, breaking records.
Mother Earth is angry. She's telling us, whether she's telling us with hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, fires in the west, whatever it is, the climate crises is real and has an impact.
I hear – I came, over the weekend, back to Washington and it was unhealthy and smoky, that was how they described the air then. Now, it has gotten much worse and I’m hearing regularly on the ongoing from my constituents about the concern they have about the fires and the air quality, the loss of life and over three million acres burned. That's an historic number.
Again, sadness over 9/11, complicated by our concern about the fires. At the same time as we're dealing with a coronavirus and finding out that the President of the United States didn't address it in the serious way that it needed to be addressed early on.
Joy Reid. Yeah. And you know, it boggles my mind – and maybe that is just, you know, at this point, my eyes just sort of glaze over listening to these press conferences – but I have here a transcript, which I will not subject you to, I will not read it to you. But Donald Trump, today, described watching eight hours of television yesterday. I was saying to my producers earlier that, you know, my godmother is retired. She spends lots of time watching television, I don't think she even gets in eight hours. He's not a retired godparent, he's the President of the United States. He spent time going through show by show what he watches on TV.
He did that today while, as you said, these fires are burning in three western states, his environmental record has not been helpful and while we're still dealing with the fallout of the fact that he knew how deadly coronavirus was in January and said nothing. Can you make sense of this? How do you make sense of this as Speaker of the House?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I’ve never been able to make sense of the President of the United States. I know there is a method to his madness and I use that word very specifically, madness, but what we've learned in the last few days is nothing new.
We know that he made light of the virus, called it a hoax and it was going to go away magically or by miracle, we would all be in church on Easter Sunday. His delay, his denial, his distortion caused deaths. Caused deaths. Could we have saved all of these people? Maybe not. But we could have saved many. And there are scientific measures of how many we could have saved.
But let me use one word to describe everything we learned in the last 24, 48 hours: contempt. Contempt by the President of the United States for the lives of the American people. Contempt of the President for science that was telling us what we needed to do and still continues to tell us what to do, and he still won't allocate the resources or the approval for what we have in the Heroes Act to do that. Contempt for his own supporters, by having them packed into venues again and again, since he even knew it was airborne. Again, just contemptible. And then, when you hear what he has to say about Saudi Arabia, contempt for who we are as a nation. It's really – nothing should be surprising to us about this President, but he is contemptible.
Joy Reid. Yeah. But, you know, I guess what – and I don't know why it's still surprising, but California is one of the states with the largest preponderance of military service. It's one of – it sends so many young men and women into the military. The Republicans have been absolutely silent, your Republican colleagues, on his degradation of the military, on the fact that he lied. We just heard, we saw a whole montage of Republicans saying, ‘We don't read these kinds of books.’ Well, it's on audio. I guess they don't listen to audio either. Running away and not speaking to it. Politics is supposed to be about representation. And I can't imagine Democrats getting away with just running and saying, I won't address these issues. Does it still surprise you that Republicans are still defending him on these matters?
Speaker Pelosi. One would think it would be surprising, because one day they're going to have to answer to their children and their grandchildren as to why their behavior was so contemptible. But the fact is that these Republicans are very much in sync with the President in terms of policy. They are in denial on the climate issue. They oppose a woman's right to choose. They are very bad in terms of LGBTQ rights and the rest. Gun violence prevention is not anything that they want to be associated with. Name any subject, and you'll find, whether it's fairness in our economy, they want to give tax cuts to the richest people in America and then say we can't afford to feed our children who are, millions of them, are food insecure now.
So from a policy standpoint, he's their guy. He's their guy. And so they're protecting him. But they don't know how foolish they look. And I just can't wait until one day, they have to explain to their grandchildren, did you really – what did you do to save our planet? What did you do to save our democracy? They are so pathetic.
And that's the question about this. The Republicans in the Congress and the supporters, the staff of the White House and the advisers to the President knew about what was happening at that time and they did not insist that the truth come out. So, there's a lot of culpability in terms of those associated with the President.
He says, ‘I didn't want to cause a panic.’ Really? If you see a train coming and a car on the tracks, you would say, ‘Get out of the way.’ But he couldn't do that, because he didn't want it to affect the stock market or his reputation or whatever it was. Contemptible.
Joy Reid. Yeah. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it's always a pleasure to talk with you. Thank you so much. And all the best to the folks out there out west.
Speaker Pelosi. And let me say one thing about our volunteers who are out there. People are out there pushing for legislation to help in the coronavirus. People are out there just trying to get the truth out about our veterans and the rest. Our volunteers in all of this sadness about the virus and the health scare and all the rest, still, our volunteers are out there just doing their job. They give us all hope.
Joy Reid. Yep. Well, we appreciate that hopeful note. It's always good to have some hope, so thank you so much, Madam Speaker. Have a wonderful evening.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you. You too. Bye-bye.
Joy Reid. Cheers. Thank you.
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