House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appeared Wednesday night on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" to discuss various topics.
Stewart joked with the former Speaker of the House that Congress' approval rating "is slighty below, from what I understand, Hepititis C." Pelosi countered, "You know last time I was here, in April of 2009, that was the last time I was on the show, the Democrats were in control. The congressional rating was 40%." She added, "We have work to do."
A CBS News/New York Times poll taken in late October showed Congress' approval rating at an all-time low of just 9 percent.
During the interview, Stewart pressed Pelosi on the effectiveness of Congress and the Democratic party. "You lead the party that believes government can take effective, forceful action to change people's lives," said Stewart. He then asked, "At what point do the Democrats have to prove that? And prove that government can be agile and effective?"
Pelosi responded with a blistering critique of the Republican party:
Pelosi: "We don't want any more government than we need. But we have to also recognize that we have two different paths here. One path, bless their hearts, the Republicans, they do what they believe. And they do not believe in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, clean air, clean water, food safety, public safety, public education."
Stewart: "To be fair, they would somewhat disagree with that characterization."
Pelosi: "Maybe some of them would, and I'm not painting them all with the same brush. But a significant number of them will use the debt, we all want to reduce the debt, that's a legitimate concern we all have. Quite frankly, if they cared so much about the debt they would have squawked when President George Bush was amassing it in the 8 years that he was President."
She elaborated, "some of them [Republicans] would try to use the debt as an excuse to eliminate the public space, all the things I just talked about."
Providing her assessment of the congressional Super Committee, or Super Congress, Pelosi explained, "we should say to the 12 people on the Super Committee: get in a room, sit down, reach agreement on public television. Let's have a transparency, an open meeting where we see everybody's proposals and suggestions on the table, an explanation of them, what they would mean, to not that table, but the kitchen table of all of America's families."
Pelosi remains a favorite villain of the Republican party. During Wednesday night's GOP presidential debate in Michigan, former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain uttered a twist on Pelosi's name. HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reports:
Herman Cain called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) "Princess Nancy" when criticizing her for not bringing up Rep. Tom Price's (R-Ga.) health care legislation, known as HR 3000, while she was speaker of the House.
Per Terkel's report, when questioned about what he would do about health care if the Affordable Care Act were to be repealed, the GOP contender responded as follows:
"The legislation has already been written -- HR 3000. In the previous Congress, it was HR 3400. And what that does is -- it has already been written. We didn't hear about it in the previous Congress because Princess Nancy sent it to committee and it stayed there. It never came out. HR 3000 allows the decisions to be with the doctors and the patients, not with the bureaucrat in Washington, D.C. The legislation has already been written."
Cain later said of the comment, "That was a statement that I probably should not have made."
Outside of "The Daily Show," CBS' "60 Minutes" reportedly will explore whether Pelosi took actions in Congress that may have benefited her husband financially. That episode is scheduled to air this coming Sunday, November 13th.
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