Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got “very angry” — in fact, “maybe the angriest” one reporter has ever seen her — when questioned Tuesday about her handling of gun control legislation following a series of mass shootings.
In a moment caught on video (below), San Francisco Chronicle reporter Tal Kopan asked Pelosi on Capitol Hill if she had any “regrets” about not calling the House back early to take advantage of the momentum on gun control legislation. As Kopan noted in a tweet, the speaker was not happy about it.
“Do you have any regrets about not bringing the House back in August to keep the flame lit on gun violence?” Kopan asked Pelosi.
“No, absolutely not,” Pelosi responded. “We did our job. The Senate was supposed to come back. Why don’t you all get that straight? The Senate did not come back to pass the bill.”
Pelosi was apparently so incensed about the question that she felt compelled to stop and take a moment to inform Kopan in no unclear terms that her direction of questioning was utterly out of line.
“I’m getting very angry about the silliness of these questions,” said Pelosi, making emphatic gestures with her right hand that increased as she worked herself up.
“Lives are at stake,” Pelosi stressed, now punctuating her statement with a Karate chop motion. “Senator McConnell is standing in the way. We passed our bill in February. Members had events all over the country to ask him to bring up the bill.”
“Don’t ask me what we haven’t done! We have done it!” she said with renewed vigor and outrage, her hand at times flying in the reporter’s face. “And if you are annoyed with my impatience, it’s because people are dying because Senator McConnell hasn’t acted.”
The Democratic leader concluded by figuratively pointing the finger again at McConnell while literally pointing her finger at her small audience. “Why don’t you go ask him if he has any regrets for all the people who died because he hasn’t acted?” Pelosi asserted.
Below is video of Pelosi’s “very angry” response (via Mediaite):
In her post on the confrontation, Kopan wrote, “Asked Pelosi about not bringing the House back in August to work on guns and she was maybe the angriest I’ve seen her.” She then provided a partial quote: “Don’t ask me what we haven’t done, we have done it…Sen. McConnell hasn’t acted, why don’t you go ask him if he has any regrets for all the people who died.”
As noted by Mediaite, Kopan also posted a response to Evans’ tweet of the combative exchange by making sure he knew that her scalp is “doing just fine.”
In Kopan’s report for the San Francisco Chronicle on the return of Congress, Kopan noted that Pelosi’s tense response to her question appears to be the central strategy of the Democrats in the “messaging wars.”
“Combatting gun violence is front and center as Congress has returned from a summer break — but as much effort is going into messaging wars as legislation on Capitol Hill. Democrats are focusing squarely on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as a barrier to progress and are demanding a vote on legislation the House passed in February to extend background checks to all gun sales.” Kopan continued, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco bristled Tuesday when The Chronicle asked her if she should have recalled the House during Congress’ August break after multiple mass shootings to keep attention on the issue.”
H/T Bearing Arms