WASHINGTON — Underscoring how the party is going to try to link all Republicans to Donald Trump in down-ballot races this fall, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) accused the real-estate mogul of simply being “a direct reflection of statements made by members of Congress.”
Outside of a closed caucus meeting on Capitol Hill today, House Democratic leaders were slamming their GOP counterparts for not producing a budget deal beyond what they call Paul Ryan’s “road to ruin” in advance of Friday’s deadline.
Pelosi said she’s “not so interested in the process of it as I am in the substance of it.”
“It is important to note that as disastrous as the Ryan budget is, it is not bad enough, cruel enough, brutal enough for some in his party who want to even go further. And that is why they have trouble getting the votes,” she said.
The minority leader said not meeting a deadline is nothing surprising. “Is anybody surprised by anything here? Does the word surprise still exist in the lexicon of Capitol Hill?” Pelosi said.
“…The fact that the Republican establishment is all the sudden shocked at the behavior of the presidential candidates, that’s shocking, because the fact is, they’re a direct reflection of statements made by members of Congress, members of Congress who are chairs of committees, who are in a position to impact public policy here, but you don’t see the establishment saying about the members of the House Republican caucus, ‘You shouldn’t be speaking that way. It’s beneath the dignity of your office,’ while they are distancing themselves from Trump, who is a direct reflection.”
Pelosi continued by comparing what Trump has said about Muslims to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) when he was chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.
“That is shocking. But what do they say about immigrants? Look at the record of Steve King — no relation to Peter King — and what he has said about immigrants. Disrespect for women. Look at the record all along here in that regard,” she said. “He has said he wanted — he trumped criminalized — make it a crime for a woman to end a pregnancy. Look at how many times in the Congress Republicans have taken up initiatives to impede access to reproductive health by not just the person who is insured, by the behavior of other members of their families.”
“This is a shocking place, and that’s why it’s shocking to see that the Republican establishment ignored it here, disassociated itself with Trump. But the fact is this — these presidential candidates and their statements are a reflection of what we see every day. Some of you have reported it in the Congress of the United States.”
Pelosi referenced Ryan’s statement yesterday that he’ll accept any GOP presidential nomination at a contested convention in Cleveland this summer.
“This budget debate is as serious as it gets and the road to ruin Ryan’s budget is not a statement of American values. If he thinks that not running for president will take the spotlight off of that, that’s not the case,” she said. “I have great respect for the speaker because I do believe that he believes in his budget, and that’s something that the public should know.”