NBC Brings on Pelosi to Bash Romney Over Video, A 'Gift From Above' for Democrats
In an interview with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teed up the liberal congresswoman to rip into Mitt Romney over a hidden camera video of him at a fundraiser: "Republicans and Democrats have criticized him for it. I'm sure Democrats view it as a gift from above, but do you think with the big issues facing our country, this is something that should be a substantive part of our campaign?"
Predictably, Pelosi was eager for the topic to be an issue in the presidential race: "Absolutely. This is fundamental." She slammed Romney for having "demonstrated the demeaning attitude that...[he] has toward a large segment of the American people." In an odd slip of the tongue, she referred to "Governor Obama," but Guthrie never corrected her.
To Guthrie's credit, she did raise a similar incident involving Barack Obama speaking at a fundraiser in 2008: "...then-Senator Obama was quoted calling Pennsylvania voters "bitter" and said that they clung to their guns and their religion. Do you see any difference between those two scenarios?"
After Pelosi completely dodged the question, Guthrie followed up: "In terms of a moment where a candidate, in speaking candidly to private fundraisers, speaks somewhat disparagingly of some voters, do you see a difference between those two scenarios?" Pelosi argued: "I think it's a drastic difference. What Governor Romney said here was disparaging to our whole system, our whole system, which is that we are a sense of community."
Guthrie also asked if Pelosi approved of such secret video taping at private campaign events. Pelosi replied: "I don't think there's ever any private fundraiser. I think that when you run for president, everything you say is a matter – should be a matter of public record, or it can be." Guthrie wondered: "So you don't change your wording behind closed doors?" Pelosi asserted: "No, no, I always assume, and I say what I believe."
Moving on to congressional politics, Guthrie asked Pelosi if Republicans would cooperate with Democrats if President Obama won reelection:
Let me ask you something about the President has been saying a lot on the campaign trail, that if he wins reelection he'll have a better time of it, he be able to get more done, essentially, because he believes the fever will break, that the Republicans will stop blocking his – his agenda. You've been around Congress a long time. Do you share that optimism?
Pelosi proclaimed: "Well, first of all, when we were in the majority and the President in his first two years, we had the most productive Congress in history for the American people....We cooperated with President Bush when I was speaker and he was president."
Rather than challenge Pelosi on those statements, Guthrie simply turned to Democratic chances of winning back the House: "Is it a long shot at this point? Would you call it 50/50?" Pelosi declared: "Oh, no, I think it's 50/50 and especially since the selection of Ryan, that tipped things very much our way because that put the issue of Medicare. Ryan wants to sever the Medicare guarantee, it will be gone..." Again, no challenge from Guthrie.
Wrapping up the soft interview, Guthrie fumbled Pelosi's congressional title and explained: "...we're so used to saying Speaker that I messed it up."