The following is a transcript of an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: which aired on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, October 23, 2022.
Margaret Brennan: And now we are joined by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Good morning, and it is great to have you here at the table, Mr President.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: My pleasure, thank you, good morning.
Margaret Brennan: You said a lot is going to be determined by the voting. But you heard, Republicans are taking home with 224 seats in our CBS estimates. How do you change the speed?
SPEAKER PELOSI: Well, first and foremost, good morning, it is Sunday morning, 15 days before the election vote, people are already voting, we are very happy with our early vote to be the owner of the grassroots initiative Huh. Me- That’s interesting to me, because for a year and a half the media has been saying, oh, they’re gone- it goes, the president’s party always loses in the off year. And now we’re down to the stretch. And we’re down in a very close race. And we feel very confident. I have been to more than 20 states since the Congress adjourned in the last one month. And I see very clearly that the land is owned by us. It’s about getting out of the vote, everything else is conversation about it. But to do this, you must have motivation, you cannot run empty-handed. And the truth is, when I hear people talk about inflation, as I hear them there, we have to change that subject. Inflation is a global phenomenon – phenomenon. EU, EU, UK, British have higher inflation rates than ours here. It is not so – the fight is not about inflation. It’s all about the cost of living. And if you look at what we’ve done, to reduce the cost of drugs, to reduce the cost of energy, and the rest of our legislation, you’ll see that it’s opposed every step of the way. Republicans, and they have no plans to lower the cost of living or help with inflation.
Margaret Brennan: Absolutely. Inflation is a global problem. And it’s hitting a lot of countries very hard. But there is also that question of fiscal spending. Congressman Jim Clyburn, who worked with you in the leadership, said the following earlier this week.
Jim Clyburn SOT:
We are all concerned about these rising costs. And we all knew that would be the case. When we apply this recovery program. Whenever you put more money into the economy, prices go up.
Margaret Brennan: Did you even realize at the time that Congressional spending would lead to inflation? Did you see that risk then?
CHAIRMAN PELOSI: First of all—first, government spending—we had a pandemic, and it brought down unemployment from seven percent to three-and-a-half percent now. It got people back to work, got kids back to school, had vaccines in hand, and it helped us get through that phase of the pandemic. But let me just say that because of people, more people working in the rest, the national deficit has been reduced from 2.8 to $1.4. Trillion. This is a big change. So it is- yes, we have to take a step forward to solve the problem of pandemic. But we did it in a way that would reduce the national deficit and that cannot be ignored.
Margaret Brennan: But, on things like sending you, those $1,400 checks, putting cash in there. I mean, didn’t that contribute to inflation? Do you have any regrets about the bills you passed and how you structured them?
CHAIRMAN PELOSI: No, not at all. Because it- it was necessary for people to survive. our aim-
Margaret Brennan: However, the risk was that it was inflation.
President Pelosi: But the thing is, when you reduce unemployment, it’s inflation. it’s a fact. When I was a new member of Congress, I was told that unemployment was dangerously low in our hearings on inflation and unemployment. Unemployment is dangerously low for what it does for inflation. But the point is, it’s about helping America’s working families meet their needs, and it was necessary for them. Inflation less than the $2 trillion tax cut for the high end given by Republicans and we’re still paying the price for $2 trillion, 83% of the gains going into the top 1%. So we feel proud of what we have done. We feel proud of the President. Helping America’s working families reduce their costs, and by doing so reduce the deficit.
Margaret Brennan: Well, on the issues voters tell CBS News that are important to them, abortion is number seven. Up top: economy, inflation, crime, immigration. Was it wrong to believe that the motion to kill Roe vs. Wade was going to help the Democrats? Why not talk more about these issues around the economy?
CHAIRMAN PELOSI: That’s all I can say. Never none – elections are about the future. They are about the economy. Everybody knows. No one said we abort the economy instead, but it is—it’s about both. And I can tell you that this issue is very, very provocative and encouraging people across the country to vote, because they are not sitting in Washington, but walking across the country, but I will say this-
Margaret Brennan: According to our poll, 24% of potential voters are inspired by Roe’s issue.
CHAIRMAN PELOSI: That’s a good number.
Margaret Brennan: But you need them to win. Correct? They need to be shown.
President Pelosi: Let me say, here’s what—let’s talk about what happens in these races and why I’m optimistic about it. I mean, it’s a fight. These are close races, it’s like the Olympics and a half second, you can be gold, silver, bronze, or honored to be an Olympian. So this is a tough fight. But that’s what they are. And that’s a big change from what the media was—the media thread, oh, they can’t possibly win. No, we can win. But these districts have one thing—the District—Republicans have said that if they win, they want to subject them to Medicare, Social Security, health blackmail to lift the debt limit. They have said they want to review Medicare and Social Security every five years, they have said they would like to make it a discretionary spending that Congress can decide to do or not, not mandatory. So Social Security and Medicare are on the line, the right to choose a woman is on the line, the planet is on the line, issues that are related to drugs. For years, we’ve been trying to — secretaries negotiate for lower prices. We couldn’t have done it unless we had a Democratic president and a strong majority in Congress to make it happen.
Margaret Brennan: I want to ask you about it: the future and the potential of a new Congress. You told Andrea Michelle earlier this week, “We need a generational change, but in some cases, there is no substitute for experience.” Will you continue to lead in the new Congress?
CHAIRMAN PELOSI: I am not talking about that. I have come here to talk about how we win elections.
Margaret Brennan: But, to sum up all these things-
SPEAKER PELOSI: I was just praising Andrea for all the experience she has.
Margaret Brennan: Good.
President Pelosi: But, the fact that we-
Margaret Brennan: So you can or can’t?
CHAIRMAN PELOSI: I am not here to talk about myself. I am here to talk about the future. For America’s working families, kids. It’s always about the kids. And the thing is, if you’re a senior, you’re at a much higher risk of these issues. If you are a woman of childbearing age, you are at much greater risk than if your family does. If you care – if you care about the planet, you are at great risk. He said it was a hoax. When our funding to address the climate crisis was debated, a Republican vote no. We talked about this – so we need to move forward which was on our agenda and issues like child care, child tax credit, etc.
Margaret Brennan: Madam Speaker, I appreciate your coming here today. We also invited the leader of the Republican House to join us. He declined the invitation. We will be back soon.
President Pelosi: Thank you.