“It’s sad for ‘60 Minutes,’ because they were up here,” she said, raising her hand to show the highest level, and now, she added it’s just another tabloid.
The 2012 GOP presidential race, she said, “is a ‘Survivor’ kind of a contest.” When asked about fellow former speaker Newt Gingrich’s surge in opinion polls, she says, “No — I,’’ then checks herself. “I don’t even go to that place, but I’d be interested what support he can sustain.”
On the topic of the sexual harassment that Cain has been accused of, Pelosi said she has never experienced anything like that. “I came in as a mom of five, and shall we say an older woman. I never even saw any behavior like that — and I never was a target of it, no; I was married very young.’’
Still, she considers the current conversation about harassment a kind of tipping point: “There are certain things I thought we had said were out of the question” and now, she said, that has been made even clearer.
Pelosi recently was criticized for the way she characterized a bill to amend Republican-proposed conscience exemptions for health-care reform that allow providers to refuse to perform abortions. Pelosi called the measure, which passed last month with some help from Democrats, “savage,’’ and said, “When the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health-care providers do not have to intervene, if this bill is passed. It’s just appalling.”
In retrospect, does she think that assessment went too far? Not at all, she said: “They would” let women die on the floor, she said. “They would! Again, whatever their intention is, this is the effect.’’
Catholic health-care providers in particular have long said they’d have to go out of business without the conscience protections that Pelosi says amount to letting hospitals “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion.” Those who dispute that characterization “may not like the language,’’ she said, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it . . . but they have this conscience thing’’ that she insists put women at physical risk, although Catholic providers strongly disagree.
On one occasion, she said, laughing, one of her critics on the topic of abortion, speaking on the House floor, said, “Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. They think like this. And of course I do — I think the pope would agree — and I know more than you, too, mister.’’
Pelosi kept talking right through the last bell for a mid-afternoon vote, but before dashing out at the last possible minute, she flashed a thumbs-up: “Child care,” she said. “We’re going to do it.’’
More from Lifestyle:
What, exactly, does Obama's closest personal adviser Valerie Jarrett do?
Debate protocol: No hands
Gloria Cain enters the fray