WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) applauded the Founding Fathers for making the U.S. Constitution “amendable” so Congress could “expand freedom” for Americans.
“They are the ideals of our Founding Fathers – the first leaders in the world ever to found a nation based on the principle that all people are created equal, endowed by their creator. This is a remarkable thing, this nation of optimistic people who would declare their independence, fight a war, build a country with a sacred founding document committed to liberty and justice for all – and thank God they made them amendable so that we could further expand freedom,” Pelosi said at the Freedom House Annual Awards ceremony in Washington on Thursday evening.
Pelosi was the co-recipient of the Freedom House Leadership Award with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
“You’re doing a good job in the House. Keep the job you’ve got,” Graham quipped. “You’re a nice, wonderful person. I enjoy working with you.”
“And what I like about Nancy Pelosi, she is tough and she believes what she believes – and I can deal with anybody who actually believes something,” he told the crowd.
Pelosi said she was proud to receive the award alongside a “respected leader in the Senate” such as Graham.
Freedom House honored actor and human rights activist Richard Gere with the Raising Awareness Award. Gere, who advocates for human rights in Tibet, is a close friend of the Dalai Lama. Gere praised Pelosi for her leadership in the House.
“I’m the smallest and the least-qualified in the room. Nancy Pelosi is one of my oldest friends and someone that we’re all deeply proud of, and I’m so inspired by her and the work that she’s done over decades. We met around HIV/AIDS and that mushroomed and matured into the work on Tibet,” Gere said.
Before the awards ceremony, Gere was asked to describe the human rights issue that he wants the American public to know more about at this time. Gere told PJM to speak with Paula J. Dobriansky, former undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs during the presidency of George W. Bush.
“If you want to know about human rights, this is a woman who has spent her whole life working on this subject. Let her in here because she’s much more interesting than I am and she’s the reason I am here tonight, actually,” Gere said.
“I’m going to say Freedom House really recognizes and appreciates the work Richard Gere has done, on behalf of not only the Tibetan people, but human rights broadly,” Dobriansky said. “He’s not only a great actor but he’s an activist and he gets things done, and he’ll be recognized tonight.”