WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who said she has no doubts she’ll be elected speaker of the House by her colleagues, said in her first interview since Election Day that she’s proud to be branded “a San Francisco liberal… as that, the San Francisco values of St. Francis of Assisi, which I’m proud to be an instrument of God’s deed.”
Pelosi told CNN that she intends to bring for a vote initiatives that have enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress but haven’t been brought to the floor by GOP leadership, including protection for DREAMers, comprehensive immigration reform, gun regulations, and barring discrimination against LGBT Americans.
“President Lincoln said public sentiment is everything, with it you can pass, you can do almost anything with that, or practically nothing. And I do believe that our strength is in the public involvement,” she said.
Pelosi said that when President Trump called her after Democrats retook the House “I don’t know if he said deals” because “it was very noisy in the room.”
“I heard the word ‘infrastructure’ — that came through clearly. But he said that, you know, let’s talk how we — I’m sure we can come to agreement on some things, and we have an obligation to try to find common ground,” she said. “It is our constitutional responsibility to be a check on the executive branch and we have the responsibility to have oversight on the agencies of the executive branch and there will still be intent to implement that. And that shouldn’t be — cause for him of any concern, because that’s the regular order.”
“…I will be the speaker of the people’s House and the people will hear the commitments that he makes. And they’ll see whether he will, can be trusted in that regard. I hope so, because as we go forward, we want, as I said, an open Congress, a bipartisan Congress, a unifying Congress. We’re not here to divide. We’re here to unify.”
Despite many incoming lawmakers vowing on the campaign trail that she wouldn’t have their vote, Pelosi said she has “total” and “a hundred percent” confidence she’ll be elected speaker by her colleagues.
A Dem running against her for the top spot “doesn’t matter,” she insisted; “If I do, I mean, that’s politics.”
“Without getting into the making of sausage around here, I feel very confident about where I am and I feel very encouraged by the overwhelming support in my caucus that we’ll go to the floor,” she added. “…You know, I’ve been the workhorse and people say, well, you’re not a show horse. Well, I’m happy to be a workhorse and a show horse now, because I’ll be center stage.”
On immigration, Pelosi said that “Democrats have to assert, as we always have, know we have to protect our borders. Our responsibility is to protect and defend. We take an oath when we get sworn into office to protect and defend.”
“We have to protect in a way that protects our borders and honors our values, and also recognizes there are 11 million people in this country that we have to address in terms of legalization and perhaps a path — and I believe a path to citizenship,” she said. “It would be good for our economy.”