Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was called out for speaking in the past tense about the upcoming midterm election results. Late night television host Stephen Colbert pointed it out and they had a tiny chat about it as she was a guest on his show. She said a lot of things and perhaps she was misspeaking like President Joe Biden does sometimes.
WATCH the video:
Here’s the transcript provided by Speaker Pelosi’s GOV website:
New York – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Stephen Colbert on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss recent Democratic accomplishments, the upcoming midterm elections and other news of the day. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Stephen Colbert. My first guest has represented California voters for 35 years and made history when she became the first female Speaker of the House. Please welcome back to The Late Show: Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Madam Speaker, thank you for coming back.
Speaker Pelosi. My pleasure.
Stephen Colbert. Good to see you again. How have you been?
Speaker Pelosi. Nice to be here, in person.
Stephen Colbert. I know. We’ve talked over Zoom one time, but we actually haven’t actually spoken since President Biden was inaugurated.
Speaker Pelosi. That’s right.
Stephen Colbert. So since before that. A lot has happened since then.
Speaker Pelosi. A great deal.
Stephen Colbert. But before we get to that – over fifteen years ago, you broke one of the greatest glass ceilings in America in becoming the first female Speaker of the House.
Since then, you have been elected Speaker again, and now you have some company behind the President at the State of the Union. How does it feel?
How’s it feel to have Vice President Kamala Harris back there with you during the State of the Union?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, it was very exciting as you can imagine, of course, personally. Kamala is from California. So we had known her. But, officially, it was a great honor.
But I have to admit that, when we were there, what was really important was not that the two of us were there but what the President said in his speech about women, about more women in the workplace and roles of leadership and whether it’s government, academia, wherever it was. And he talked about child care and Child Tax Credit and family and medical leave and home health care and all the initiatives that would enable more women to balance home and work. And that was what was so exciting for the two of us: to hear the President had an agenda, not just about the history we were making, but the progress American women would be making under his leadership.
Stephen Colbert. I would agree with that. I would agree with that. Would you also agree that it’ll be exciting someday to see two men back here and a woman standing up there giving the State of the Union sometime?
Speaker Pelosi. How about three women?
Stephen Colbert. We have to take a quick break. We’ll be right back with more Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Stick around, everybody.
Stephen Colbert. Hey, everybody. Look it there. It is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Let’s talk about that slim Majority that the Democrats have right now. You know, you know, control comes and control goes. You were, you were Speaker from 2007 to 2011. And then once again in 2017, because the Republicans controlled it for those six years or seven years in between.
In 2018, where you were sitting right there in that chair, you came on here and you predicted that the Democrats were going to pick up seats in the Congress on a large scale. They did, they picked up forty seats in the House, a real wave. What is your prediction for the election that’s a little bit more than a month away? Madam Speaker, you have the floor.
Speaker Pelosi. Okay, well thank you very much. I’m so glad you asked that question, because I believe that we will win the – hold the House, and we will hold the House –
By winning more seats. We won the forty seats, then we lost some when Trump was on the ballot. We lost some of the Trump districts, but we held enough seats to hold the House with him on the ballot. He’s not on the ballot now. Oh, did I say his name? I didn’t mean to.
Stephen Colbert. We’ll have the video tapes fumigated.
Speaker Pelosi. Perhaps you could bleep that out.
Stephen Colbert. It is a family show.
But what gives you the confidence to do that because all the prognosticators, certainly six months ago, they said it was going to be this crazy red wave. Now it looks likely that the Democrats will hold the Senate, but there is still a slight favor for the Republicans to take the House.
Speaker Pelosi. Well okay, so you ready?
Stephen Colbert. Always.
Speaker Pelosi. Okay. Here’s the thing. When we won in 2020, and again, fewer seats, but still holding the House. We started right away to prepare for the next election. In terms of organization. Own the ground. When you mobilize, you must own the ground to take out the vote. You have to do that with inspiration and how we put together our messaging – and that’s the second ‘M.’ And the third is money. So we’re getting ready for the election. That was in December of 2020.
On January 6th, you know what happened. An insurrection incited by the President of the United States on the U.S. Capitol, on our Constitution, on our democracy. The greatest influx of candidates came forward. Young people, people of color, people of different generations, different backgrounds and the rest – the beautiful diversity of America came forward. They didn’t pay attention to those pundits who said, ‘You can’t win.’ They went in with courage and confidence that they could win.
So when Roe v. Wade came down, boom, we were totally ready. And that just caused a whole different attitude on the part of some about whether we could win. We always believed that we could win, because we knew we had to because our democracy was on the ballot. Our planet was on the ballot. A woman’s – everything was on the ballot in this election, more than in regular majorities come and go.
Stephen Colbert. It is on the ballot. You’re sounding a little bit like you’re talking to the past tense. If you don’t mind me pointing that out. We’ve still got more than a month to go.
Speaker Pelosi. Yes.
Stephen Colbert. The polls still aren’t reflecting necessarily what you’re saying. Do you believe in the polls?
Speaker Pelosi. No, let me just say: what I said was on the ballot, past, when people decided to run.
Stephen Colbert. Okay.
Speaker Pelosi. And now they – here they are doing very well in their districts. The – when you ask about it. Here’s the way we see it. I’m from Maryland originally.
Audience Member. Woo!
Speaker Pelosi. I’ve been in California a long time. Yeah, woo!
So you know that it’s a horse racing state. And in Maryland, when you’re in the lead – which we believe we are, which we believe we are, we’re in the lead. You’re in the stretch, we made the turn. It’s one – five weeks from tomorrow is the election so we’re – and voting starts even sooner than that. When you’re in the lead, and you’re in the stretch, you whip the lead. And that’s what we are doing: we’re whipping the lead to ensure a Democratic victory.
I feel just watching each of the races – forgive me for saying this, in a very cold-blooded way, as to which races we can win, to ensure that we not only hold the House, but we increase our number.
And a real tribute to President Biden. He has been a great President. He has accomplished – we’ve been working together to accomplish so much, and that is beginning to have some appreciation in the public in terms of his leadership. Rescue package, bipartisan infrastructure package, this most recent Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS Act, the PACT Act for our veterans. The President has done a remarkable job, and we have been proud to be –
Stephen Colbert. The January 6th – we’re still, we’re still waiting on the next January 6th hearing. I heard right before you came out here, you may already know this, that it is possibly on Thursday the 13th is when the next January 6th hearing will be. You said you would never forget and never forgive the trauma caused on that day. To you, what is the ideal outcome of these hearings?
Speaker Pelosi. The truth. The truth. That is what this is about.
Finding the truth for the American people so this never happens again, never happens again.
I’m so proud of the work they have done in a bipartisan way, even though the Republicans had rejected an outside panel. Mitch McConnell went to his colleagues and said, ‘Do me a favor and don’t vote for the outside commission.’ Imagine. And the President is saying what he’s saying about him now. He always was protecting the President. But enough of him.
About the future. I’m so proud of Bennie Thompson, in the heartland of America that he represents. And Liz Cheney. I mean, so remarkable, so much courage.
Stephen Colbert. We have to take a quick break. We’ll be right back with more Speaker Nancy Pelosi, everybody.
Stephen Colbert. Hey, everybody. It is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Madam Speaker, 35 years ago, your friend – this woman right here, Representative Sala Burton – was diagnosed with cancer. She asked you to run for her seat. What would you want to say to her now if you could about the path that she set you on?
Speaker Pelosi. Well that’s so nice of you to say, because this was really quite unusual that a woman would be indicating who she wanted to have as her successor. Men did that all the time. But here was a woman offering me the opportunity to run. I had never intended to run for public office ever. I had five children. I was raising my family and that, and when this time came, and she offered this, she – I said, ‘Well Sala, I’ve never even thought about running for office.’ I’m basically a shy person. I don’t want to put myself out there.
Stephen Colbert. You do seem very shy.
Speaker Pelosi. That was then, this is now.
But in any event – so I went to Alexandra, who you know, our youngest daughter who was 16 at the time, going into senior year of high school. And I said, ‘Alexandra, Mommy has the opportunity to run for Congress. I don’t know if I’ll win. But Sala’s asking me to run, and she said it would make her feel better if I ran. And I love my life. I don’t need to run for office. But I would like to honor Sala’s request, because it’s historic that a woman is saying to another woman, run for office.’ I don’t know if you know how historic that is. That’s quite remarkable. So anyway, Alexandra – I said, ‘Mommy will be gone like three nights a week. If I win, you know, I’d be gone like three nights a week. And, but again, any answer is okay.’
And she said, ‘Mother –’ and I knew I was in trouble.
I’m saying ‘Mommy,’ and she’s saying ‘Mother.’ She said, ‘Mother, get a life.’
I had never heard that before. This was a long time ago.
What teenage girl would not want her mother out of the house three nights a week?
So with that approval –
So I would say to Sala what people say to me. Sala saw something in you that she was insisting that you run, and I hope that I have honored the confidence that she placed in me.
But the first day on the Floor of the House when I was sworn in a special election, because Sala had died, I said – I went on the Floor and I said, ‘I told my constituents that, when I came here, that I would tell them that Sala sent me, and that I’ve come here to fight against HIV and AIDS.’ They were my very first words on the Floor of the House, and that’s about all I said except to thank my parents and my constituents. And HIV and AIDS were just, just so horrible in our community and in the country at that time.
So I would say to Sala: we’re still fighting to make sure the quality of life exists, and hopefully someday we’ll have a cure. But the fight against HIV and AIDS has helped us in marriage equality. And other diagnoses have benefited from the model that the grassroots put out there. And we can maneuver internally in Congress, but what the outside mobilization is – makes all the difference. And Sala was an outside mobilizer so followed that tradition.
Stephen Colbert. My next guest is a guy named Armando Iannucci, who created, among other things, Veep. Have you ever seen Veep?
Speaker Pelosi. Yeah, I’ve seen it a number of times. I don’t have a whole –
Stephen Colbert. Does it seem accurate to how Washington is?
Speaker Pelosi. No, of course not.
Stephen Colbert. No? Everyone’s really nice in Washington, and no one ever stabs each other in the back or anything like that?
Speaker Pelosi. Well I don’t mean that, I just meant –
Stephen Colbert. No one ever uses foul language behind closed doors or anything like that?
Speaker Pelosi. Not in front of me. Not in front of the Speaker. But the star of the show is really a star in life as well.
Stephen Colbert. Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Speaker Pelosi. Julia – she is just remarkable. So I’m a big fan of her. So I’ve seen it from time to time. But if I have any time to watch TV, it’s sports and the Stephen Colbert show.
Stephen Colbert. That’s how you do it, ladies and gentlemen. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, everybody. Thank you, Madam Speaker.