House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed again that she is in control of her Party and that progressive freshman Democrats in Congress do not hold that much influence.
This Sunday, the California Democrat dismissed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ appearance of power and other “self-described socialists” as being only “like five people” in the Democratic caucus during a “60 Minutes” interview on CBS News.
( Video: CBS News 60 Minutes: ) “You are contending with a group in Congress: over here on the left flank are these self-described socialists, on the right, these moderates,” host Lesley Stahl began. “You yourself said that you’re the only one that can unify everybody.”
“The question is, can you?” Stahl asked.
“By and large, whatever orientation they came to Congress with, they know that we have to hold the center, that we have to go down the mainstream,” Pelosi answered.
“They know that?” the host asked, adding “but it doesn’t look like that” when Pelosi confirmed, “they do.”
“It looks as if it’s fractured,” Stahl said.
In another segment of the interview, the host continued to question the 79-year-old speaker about the power of the freshmen lawmakers in the Democratic Party.
“You have these wings, AOC and her group on one side,” Stahl began, to which Pelosi interjected: “That’s like five people.”
“No, it’s the progressive group, it’s more than five,” the host responded.
“Well, the progressive– I’m a progressive,” Pelosi shot back.
During the interview, Pelosi also said that she “reject[s] socialism as an economic system.”
“If people have that view, that’s their view,” she said. “That is not the view of the Democratic Party.”
On Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway suggested that “there’s trouble in Pelosi’s paradise,” and noted the influence of the radical new Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez, and Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib during an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
“There’s a great of frustration among some of the rank and file members who represent more moderate districts and frankly who represent districts that Donald Trump won in 2016. They’re very frustrated,” she said. “They’ve been to the White House. They’ve talked to people like me quietly, saying they wish the radical freshmen who get all the magazine covers and all the ink and air time …”
Host Stahl continued to press Pelosi on the lack off accomplishments of Democrats in Congress.
( Video: CBS News 60 Minutes: ) “One of the complaints we’ve heard is that you don’t reach across the aisle. Because it seems like right now nothing is getting done. You pass things, whatever it is, it dies in the Senate…,” she began.
“Nothing died. Nothing died. We’re together 100 days,” Pelosi quickly corrected the interviewer. “The fact that we even passed them in the House is a victory. Let’s figure out the places, figure out where we can find common ground. There’s always been bipartisan support for DREAMers, bipartisan support for gun safety, bipartisan support for infrastructure.”
“But why doesn’t anything get done?” the host asked.
“Because we just started. We just started, We just started with three months since we’re in office,” the Democrat leader argued.
When host Stahl reminded Pelosi that President Trump has been in office for more than two years, she quickly noted, “And we’ve been here three months,” reminding her of the “power of the Speaker.”
“Hey, may I introduce you to the idea of the power of the Speaker is to set the agenda? We didn’t have a Speaker who would bring a gun bill to the floor. We didn’t have a Speaker who would bring DREAMers issue to the floor,” Pelosi declared.
“We do now. And that’s a very big difference,” she added. “The power of the Speaker is awesome. Awesome.”