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ABC "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" - Transcript: Government Shutdown and Healthcare


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And now let's welcome the House Democratic Leader, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Welcome, Leader Pelosi.

PELOSI: Good morning.

RADDATZ: We sit here after two outrageous weeks. I know you can blame Republicans for this, but Americans look at what happened, most of them, with disgust. They blame all of congress. What responsibility do you bear to move Washington forward, to change the mood in Washington, to make the American people proud again?

PELOSI: Well, I join the American people in their disgust at what happened in terms of the shutdown of government, that's an unthinkable tactic to use in the political debate.

But I will say that I'm very proud of my House Democrats and the Senate Democrats as well. In September, we said to the speaker, we don't like the number that you have put forth, but we will give you 100 percent of the Democratic votes in order for you to bring it to the floor and pass it no matter what the votes are on your side. We think that will produce a majority. And they stood there before the shutdown and then almost every day after on the steps of the Capitol signing letters and signing petitions to say bring it to the floor.

We don't like the bill, we think it's too low a number but nonetheless it is the number. The president accepted their number. The Senate accepted their number. The House Democrats accepted.

The only people who did not accept the Republican budget number were the Republican House members. And that is...

RADDATZ: But let's look forward. How do you change the tone? And President Obama even said this week that he wants the tone changed and yet you are saying things like the Republicans are throwing temper tantrums, they're reckless. How does that move things forward?

PELOSI: Well, the fact is that it's really important for the American people to have transparency on this. All of this was then, it wasn't two weeks. It was two weeks and two days. And that's a very big -- again, every single day was a hardship. And it cost our economy, according to Standard and Poor's $25 billion.

RADDATZ: But you haven't told me what you will do or why something will be different.

PELOSI: I'm going to. If I may, Martha, I'm predicating it on we cannot go into a daily free zone. We have to stipulate to a certain set of facts, that a shutdown was a bad thing all around.

And again, everybody looks bad when something like this happens. I'm not saying we all came out -- I agree with the president, there are no winners in this. Because the American people had to lose $25 billion in our economy.

So either the Republicans didn't know or didn't care about those consequences. I believe they do care.

So we have to have facts as we go forward. We have to have common sense as we go forward. We have to go to the table understanding that we cannot shut down and we cannot place in doubt the full faith and credit of the United States of America.

But we do have to recognize that among those on the Republican side are those who are anti-government ideologues and they cannot wag this dog. And they cannot wag this dog. They cannot wag this dog.

RADDATZ: I want to talk about the rollout of Obamacare, which seemed somehow disastrous as well. About 500,000 applications were taken and yet there were so many glitches. It was really beyond glitches. People said they couldn't get on the web site, they couldn't do anything right. Is this acceptable?

PELOSI: Well, before we go to that I want to finish on the budget. What I'm proposing to our colleagues in the House and the Senate is let's not have this go until January, let us try to figure out until Thanksgiving, the end of November, let's engineer back from there, go to the table, respectful of the fact that this will have to be a compromise, not a principle, but a...

RADDATZ: You think that's possible that they will actually do it before the holidays?

PELOSI: Well, I think it has to be because in terms of our economy, consumer confidence, confidence in the markets, as we go to the end of the year, we don't need this. It's not necessary.

RADDATZ: Can you quickly comment on the Obamacare. Is that acceptable?

PELOSI: As far as the Affordable Care Act as I call it, the fact is that, yes, what happened is unacceptable in terms of the glitches. They were overwhelmed to begin with. There is much that needs to be done to correct the situation, but 19 million people, 19 million people, unique visits.

RADDATZ: Do you think the Republicans are going to use what happened as a weapon?

PELOSI: I don't know what they do because it doesn't matter. This has to be fixed but what doesn't have to be fixed is the fact that tens of millions more people will have access to affordable, quality health care that no longer having a preexisting medical condition will bar you from getting affordable care, that all of the initiatives that are very positive for a healthier life, liberty to pursue your happiness not chained to a policy but following your passion, all of that is in place.

This is unacceptable. It has to be changed, but any system that deals with that many millions of people frequently does have a glitch. Again this is unacceptable. It must be fixed. They've doubled up on telephoning, all navigators, assisters to help --


RADDATZ: Quickly on Hillary Clinton. Do you see any way she's not going to run?

PELOSI: I hope she runs.

RADDATZ: Given what she said this weekend?

PELOSI: No, I was on a plane going home and coming back. I saw that she appeared in Virginia, and that -- for Terry McAuliffe.

RADDATZ: First political comments in four years. She's got to run, right?


PELOSI: (Inaudible) say if Hillary Clinton does run, she'll be one of the best prepared people and she will win, I believe, if she runs. She'll be one of the best prepared people to enter the White House in a long time. She will -- she would be a great president. I would -- it would be a very thrilling thing for our country. She happens to be a woman, but she's, first and foremost, extremely qualified.

RADDATZ: And finally, if you will, a few quick thoughts on the passing of former Speaker of the House Tom Foley, who died at age 84 on Friday.

What lessons can you learn, what lessons can the country learn from him?

PELOSI: Well, Tom Foley was a statesman and it was a privilege to serve under him when he was the Speaker of the House. He loved our country. He was a gentleman. I had the privilege of seeing him a couple days before he passed away.

I feel very honored that his wife, Heather, allowed that, and I sent her my condolences. That same day we also lost Bill Young, a revered member of Congress. He was my chairman on Appropriations. I send my condolences to Beverly as well.

RADDATZ: We'll have a little more on them both later. Thanks so much for joining us, Leader Pelosi.


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