Pelosi: 'I'll Be the People's Speaker'

By Susan Jones | November 9, 2018 | 7:25 AM EST

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expects to return to her former role of House Speaker in January. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

( - "What is your level of confidence that you'll be the Speaker of the House?" CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in an interview that aired Thursday night.

"Total," Pelosi replied.

"One hundred percent?" Cuomo followed up.

"One hundred percent, yeah," Pelosi said, adding that she has just sent a letter to her caucus, asking for their support. Before this, "I was too busy winning an election," she said. "I didn't think it was appropriate to ask members or candidates then."

Pelosi said it "doesn't matter" if she has opposition from other Democrats. She said it's happened almost every time she's run.

And if she does have to deal with strong opposition this time -- "that's politics," she said.

"This is not a day at the beach. This is politics. And here I am. We delivered the victory because we had the best possible candidates. We had the best possible candidates who inspired the grassroots. We owned the ground.

"And all of the organizations, whether it was about protect our care, protect our environment, all of those organizations worked to elect these people and they want to see results. And we have to get moving with that.

"So without getting into the making of sausage around here, I feel very confident about where I am and I feel very encouraged -- I have overwhelming support in my caucus that will go to the floor."

Pelosi said she feels no reluctance to be at the center of a contentious and difficult moment in politics, up against a president who doesn't hesitate to fight back.

"It's an urgency that I can't resist. I mean, if Hillary Clinton had won, my -- our Affordable Care Act would be protected and I could go home. You know, no one in California gets Potomac fever. We always want to go home. But that didn't happen, sadly, for our country. So this is something that I feel all of my experience is geared to."

Pelosi said as Speaker, her goal is to "produce results" for the American people.

"That's why we have our 'For the People' agenda. Lower health care costs, bigger paychecks, integrity in government, that's where we're going. Guns, Dreamers, Equality Act. Those will be some of our priorities. If there's evidence that the president should be impeached, it should be self-evident to the public and (done) in a bipartisan way."

Pelosi said she expects some members of her caucus to demand Trump's impeachment, but "I don't think we should impeach a president for political reasons," she said. "We have to see what the facts are."

She noted that years ago, she resisted calls to impeach President George W. Bush for going to war with Iraq, on false pretenses, his critics said.

Pelosi also told Cuomo that gun control "will be a priority for us in the next Congress."

"I do believe -- because in this Congress, the one that we're in this minute, there is bipartisan legislation to have common-sense background checks to prevent guns going into the wrong hands. Now it doesn't cover everything, but it will save many lives. Bipartisan legislation. We've asked the Speaker to bring it to the floor. It has bipartisan support. It would win. But he wouldn't bring it to the floor."

Pelosi said she thinks outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan didn't bring gun control to the House floor "because he knows it would pass. And therefore, this will be a priority for us in the next Congress."


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