House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, became combative during a Fox News interview on Thursday evening over her mother’s behavior during the State of the Union address this week.
Christine Pelosi tried to downplay her mother’s behavior as being “an Italian grandma move,” and made inaccurate claims about what the Trump administration was doing with regard to health care, which drew pushback from host Martha McCallum.
Christine Pelosi also repeatedly dismissed recent polling that showed that President Donald Trump’s approval rating has surged in recent weeks in the aftermath of House Democrats’ partisan impeachment.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX ANCHOR: Here now exclusively, Christine Pelosi, the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the author of “The Nancy Pelosi Way.”
Christine thank you for being here tonight.
CHRISTINE PELOSI, DAUGHTER OF REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: You know, I think first of all I just want to get your reaction when you saw the speaker rip up those pages, very intentionally — you know, one, two, three in front of the cameras. What was your reaction? Did you know she was going to do that?
C. PELOSI: No idea she was going to do that. I think Nancy Pelosi is a wonderful person, I know she prays daily, including for the president, including for the country, as we’ve talked before.
And in watching that — her reaction to that speech, I thought to myself, that’s an Italian grandma move. I saw my grandmother do that years ago in her kitchen when there was a guest who had been at my grandfather’s house — very rude to him.
She just simply picked up the person’s plate without comment, went into the kitchen, we heard a little crashing sound. She threw the plate away, came back, sat down and didn’t say another word.
So to me, I thought, that’s —
MACCALLUM: You thought it was appropriate?
C. PELOSI: — that’s an Italian grandma — well I thought it was an Italian grandma move. I think that’s —
C. PELOSI: — that was her reaction –
MACCALLUM: So she said — she said it was the most courteous thing (ph) —
C. PELOSI: — to it. She didn’t say anything — she didn’t, you know —
MACCALLUM: She said it was the — let me ask you — the most courteous thing I could do, she said, given my other exuberances. What did she mean — what were her other exuberances? What would have been worse than that?
C. PELOSI: Well, I think plenty of things would have been worse than that, I mean, for example he could have put his outstretched hand towards her, and she could have refused to shake it, which surprised me when I first watched the speech. I thought, well wait, her hand’s out there, why isn’t he shaking her hand.
When you hear someone give a speech in front of you and say things that you know to be untrue — he says he’s protecting people’s care — and I know Kellyanne Conway just repeated that, but the fact of the matter is he’s in court suing to overturn the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.
He is in court trying to uphold rules that will change the – it (ph) just did — that will change the definition of a public charge that will hurt immigrants like his own father who came in —
MACCALLUM: Well they have policy differences, there’s no doubt about that.
C. PELOSI: — who needed that.
MACCALLUM: But let me ask you this –
C. PELOSI: Well, but if you lie about what the —
MACCALLUM: But Christine –
C. PELOSI: What the — what…
MACCALLUM: No (ph).
C. PELOSI: — what you’re doing, that’s not a policy difference —
MACCALLUM: That — but you know what?
C. PELOSI: — that’s a lie.
MACCALLUM: I have watched State of the Union addresses my whole life, as I know you have too. There are —
C. PELOSI: I’ve been there.
MACCALLUM: — always presidents who stand up there and who talk about their policies. There are always people in the audience, including speakers of the House, of the opposite party who don’t agree that they are saying, what they see as the more effective policy.
They have different views on the way to fix healthcare in this country. It doesn’t mean that you — you rip up the speech. I mean you — it generally, in my whole life —
C. PELOSI: It might (ph) if you think the person is lying.
MACCALLUM: — people have sat there respectfully and listened to each other. That’s part of what happens at the State of the Union Address. And — and frankly, you know, I just — I thought it was surprising.
I mean I — I was with a panel with people; Democrats, Republicans and — and everybody, you know, thought, wow that was — that was a surprising move. And — and that was one of the nicer words that was used for it.
C. PELOSI: Well that was your panel. People — I was with hundreds of people last night who loved it and thought thank god somebody with a flick of the wrist (ph) had some resistance.
MACCALLUM: I’m sure that’s true. No, I — I — I know that sentiment is out there as well. I’m just — I’m just saying —
C. PELOSI: It’s out there for sure.
MACCALLUM: So — so how about this comment.
C. PELOSI: — Martha, going to your point though.
C. PELOSI: It — it’s not a matter of saying, you and I can disagree.
C. PELOSI: We’re both speaking the truth. It’s a different thing if I say there’s a lawsuit to overturn the law and at the same time I say I’m defending the law, I am lying. And that –
C. PELOSI: — that is a fundamental difference there.
MACCALLUM: Yes. But the lawsuit — what they’re arguing is that the lawsuit to overturn the law is to — is to allow a — a system that — that they think would be better to protect people, and it would provide better coverage in the end because they think that that law is not effective so far in doing so.
So that to me is a policy difference. It’s – it’s yes, we’re trying to do this, because we want to overturn that and that’s a policy difference. I don’t — I don’t see it as — as lies, but maybe we just have a different way of — of you know listening to — to both sides here.
I just want to play this other — this other — this other sound bite here from the speaker about thinking that the president was sedated. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It’s also an act of kindness because I — he looked to me like he was a little sedated. He looked that way last year too. But he didn’t want to shake hands. That was that. That meant nothing to me. It had nothing to do with my tearing up —
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So do — I mean what do — I’m just curious what your take is on that. When I heard that I thought —
C. PELOSI: Well, I think –
MACCALLUM: — she thought he was drugged or something?
C. PELOSI: — no, I — well, I think – who – I actually thought he had a cold this morning. I didn’t know what — what — what that remark — or maybe he was — maybe he had a cold last night too. Actually I thought he sounded like he had a cold this morning.
But in any event, I think there’s two things. One is — I thought you were going to play the part where he said all the things that he said about Mitt Romney’s faith, which I thought was bizarre, because I remember in 2012 Mitt Romney talking about his faith quite a lot at the Republican conventions. So I don’t think it was new, and I don’t think it was a crutch.
Again, going back to —
MACCALLUM: Well, I think a lot of people thought that a lot of that back and forth was over the line.
C. PELOSI: Well — well, again, I think there’s a couple of things going on here.
MACCALLUM: On both sides.
C. PELOSI: First of all, the House of Representatives has the power. If they want to get something passed, they have to go through the House of Representatives. So sooner or later he’s going to have to go back there. That’s how the trade deal got done after the House of Representatives made it better working with labor.
You want to get something done on healthcare; you want to get something done on the budget, he will eventually have to go have — back to the House of Representatives to make something happen.
MACCALLUM: Absolutely true.
C. PELOSI: So we will wait to see what — what those dynamics are then, but it’s important to note that when the budget comes out the numbers don’t lie. And so the numbers are going to have to — that’s where the stark reality is going to be.
C. PELOSI: That proof will be in the pudding. If they really want to do something on healthcare and infrastructure, let’s look at the budget and see —
MACCALLUM: I — I think that’s something that all Americans would like to see happen on both fronts so I hope — I hope that’s true.
One last question for you. Let’s pull up this Gallup poll.
During the course of impeachment the president’s approval rating went up 10 points. Does that — you know, I mean I think that would led to some frustration on the part of those who pursued it for whatever reasons they pursued it. Does that — what do you think about that?
C. PELOSI: Well, a couple of things. I saw that Gallup poll. It’s more heavily weighted now towards Republicans than it was before. So if you look at the breakdown of the numbers, they’re different. And that could be where the numbers are.
But the people who decided to go forward with the impeachment inquiry and with the impeachment were very, very clear. This isn’t about the polls, this is about the truth, this is about finding the truth and this is about making sure that we say Article 2 constrains the president. It doesn’t mean he can say he can do whatever he wants.
And so what we’re talking about as we go forward — and listen, our — our voters, they want to hear about healthcare, they want to hear about healthcare. They want to be assured that the president is going to be following the law —
MACCALLUM: But — but — but the speaker of the House said in the beginning of this process that we shouldn’t do impeachment because it will be too divisive.
Now, I have to believe she looks at these numbers and says see, to her — to her caucus, I told you this was going to be a mistake — and it is. His numbers have gone up during this process.
C. PELOSI: It’s not a mistake to stand up for America. It’s not a mistake to stand up for the truth. It’s not — and again, you’re looking at one poll. RealClearPolitics (ph) average (ph) has him going up one point, not several.
Again, you’re looking at a weighted poll that has more Republicans in it now than it did two months ago.
MACCALLUM: — well they weren’t (inaudible) a whole bunch of numbers that — that are positive over the course of this —
C. PELOSI: He did. In — in Gallup, yes. All in that same weighted poll.
MACCALLUM: All right. So you — OK.
C. PELOSI: But — but point is whether it is or it isn’t, the most important poll is going to be on Election Day, November 3rd.
C. PELOSI: And the question’s going to be, are we going to move forward and have a president, you know, of a different party who’s going to bring us together and protect our healthcare or are we going to have four more years of Donald Trump. We shall see.
MACCALLUM: Well, at this point one thing that we do know is that the people will decide and that will happen in nine months.
Christine Pelosi, thank you. We appreciate you coming in. Good to see you tonight.
C. PELOSI: Thanks, Martha.