Pelosi: This is a person [Paul Ryan] who has been the destroyer of Medicare guarantee.
Today on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke about her expectations for the Congressional balance of power, Libya and more. Highlights from the full interview are after the jump and a full transcript will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sitroom.html.
Please credit all usage of the information to CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED
BLITZER: And the — and we know that the State Department, the secretary has asked the retired U.S. ambassador, Thomas Pickering, to launch this full scale investigation internally in the State Department. But you acknowledge that Congress has an oversight role, to make sure that these — these are legitimate questions that these — these Congressmen are asking.
PELOSI: But as you indicate, they have had no hearings on any subject. Today, we had to have a rump hearing — Democrats only, unfortunately, Republicans would not participate — on Medicare and how Medicare is affected by the Ryan-Romney budget to sever the Medicare guarantee.
They didn’t want to participate in that. They don’t want to call Con — we’re supposed to be in session this week, but they’ve canceled it rather than passing a middle income tax cut, passing a jobs bill, passing the Violence Against Women Act, passing the farm bill, any of those things, but yet they have time to say we want information when they know it’s premature.
BLITZER: So are you saying this is political, from their perspective?
PELOSI: One might suspect that.
BLITZER: That’s what I hear you saying.
PELOSI: One might suspect that.
BLITZER: — once again. “The Cook Political Report,” highly respected, they came out with this. And I’ll — and I’ll read it: “It’s often noted House Democrats need to pick up 25 seats to win back the majority. But in actuality, as we’ve noted all cycle long, Democrats will likely need to pick up between 35 and 40 Republican-held seats because they are likely to lose a few of their own members.”
Do you agree with that analysis?
PELOSI: Well, that’s — we’ve said all along, we have to net 25 seats. We’re in a drive for 25 more seats. The — I don’t think it’s up to 40, but I think that we probably have to win more than 25 to net 25.
BLITZER: Can you net 25 seats?
PELOSI: Oh, yes. We — I think we can (INAUDIBLE)…
BLITZER: Why — why do you think so? Most of the analysts don’t think you can.
PELOSI: Well, I’m — because I’m out on the campaign trail. I see the enthusiasm of our candidates. They’re absolutely great. Many of them self-recruited. They just came forward and said not on my watch will we let what’s happened — what the Republicans are doing to our country continue.
We have a great leader in Steve Israel, the chairman of our committee, who’s very analytical and — and very strong in the — and scientific as to how we go forward.
But it’s mostly about the vision for our country.
BLITZER: Because I know you…
PELOSI: Bring back the American dream…
BLITZER: — you — you believe, correct me if I’m wrong, that Paul Ryan being added to the Republican ticket has helped you in trying to gain seats, is that right?
PELOSI: March your cal — mark your calendar, August 11th, the day he was chosen gave a clarification to the issue of Medicare. This is a person who has been the destroyer of Medicare guarantee.
BLITZER: He wants to save it…
PELOSI: And he…
BLITZER: We’re back with the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi.
Leader Pelosi, you — you were telling me the other day a really amazing story. We’re — people forget, four years ago, almost exactly to the day, you got a call from the then Treasury secretary, President Bush’s Treasury secretary, Hank Paulson.
What did he say to you?
PELOSI: Well, it was actually the reverse, I called him, because I was seeing what was happening with Lehman, Merrill and then AIG that very day. It was September 18th four years ago.
And why that’s important is because some people are going around saying, are you better off than you were four years ago?
Well, here’s where we were four years ago.
I called Hank Paul — the — the secretary — what’s going on, how can we be helpful, can you come to my office tomorrow morning at 9:00?
The secretary says, tomorrow morning will be too late. Tomorrow morning will be too late, then why am I calling you, why aren’t you calling me?
I said I will call Ben — would call the chairman, Bernanke, and ask him to come to our office at 5:00 in the afternoon to brief the leadership on what was going on in the markets.