Nancy Pelosi Scoffs at Stephen Colbert Asking If GOP Called Her Bluff on Impeachment Vote


In an lengthy “exclusive” interview with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, fresh off her presiding over a full House vote on impeachment rules, Late Show host Stephen Colbert gently challenged the Democratic leader on where the investigation of President Donald Trump goes from here.

Pelosi repeatedly invoked the Constitution and her regret over having to pursue impeachment, but cited a Thomas Paine quote that “the times have found us” as her explanation for the necessity of the inquiry into the Trump’s Ukraine scandal. As the impeachment inquiry has kicked into gear, Pelosi has seen her favorability reach a new high, per a recent Fox News poll, and her net favorability (-6%) now tops any Congressional Republican leader as well as Trump.

And while Pelosi was careful not to tip her hand to Colbert that her caucus had already made up its mind about voting in favor of actual articles of impeachment, the famous House tactician made it quite clear she had no intention of being outmaneuvered.

“Madame Speaker, now, every Republican has rolled the bones that you don’t have enough to impeach the president,” Colbert said, alluding to the House GOP’s unanimous opposition to Thursday’s full House vote on the procedures for the inquiry going forward.

“Bah, no, no,” Pelosi said, scoffing at the notion and turning her head away from Colbert.

“They’ve all voted against her and said she’s got nothing, they don’t have what it takes to impeach the president,” Colbert said of the Republican spin, turning the screws as Pelosi politely smiled. “Are you looking at Kevin McCarthy and the rest of the Republicans and saying, ‘Do you feel lucky, punk?'”

After a brief giggle, Pelosi turned more serious and stuck to her talking points. “The thing about this, again, it’s about the Constitution,” she insisted. “We’re honoring our oath of office, we’re there to strengthen the institution in which we serve, and if [Republicans] don’t want to do that, that’s their problem. But it’s interesting because they have been talking process, process, process because they know they can’t really go near the substance issue.”

“If you’ve got the goods on President Trump, or,” and here Colbert paused to head off the coming boilerplate answer, “if the Constitution has the goods on President Trump, to put it in your vernacular, it’s already a rough political landscape, are you prepared for how rough it’s going to get? Because you know the guy’s not going easy.”

“Can you street fight?” he added.

“I got this beautiful honor last night. The [President] Lyndon B. Johnson Award,” Pelosi recounted. “When I was accepting it, I told two stories, and one of them is — I’ll be quick — one of them was what advice would you give people who want to run for office? And I told them they have to have their vision, knowledge, strategic thinking and connection to the aspirations of their constituents. But I said this is not for the faint of heart. So if you want to go into the arena, you have to be prepared to take a punch. But you also have to be prepared to throw a punch.”

Watch the video above, via CBS.

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