On Sunday night, 60 Minutes aired an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). During the interview with CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl, Pelosi admitted that she and the Democrats held up the COVID relief package for eight months from the American people.
Stahl began by asking Pelosi about a mandate from the election. "In the election in November someone said that the mandate that the Democrats won was not about issues because you lost so many seats that the mandate was for tone and attitude. And a strong desire for compromise. Right?"
Pelosi answered, "I do know that it was a mandate, for us to go forward with an agenda for America's working families, as well as to do so. In tone, we have, I always say to our members, we have a responsibility find common ground when we can't, we must stand our ground, but we have to, we have a responsibility to try."
Stahl then said to the Speaker, "You yourself, are not known as a person who compromises."
Pelosi responded by blaming Republicans for her own lack of being willing to compromise. "No, I compromise. We want to get the job done. I don't know. I'm mis-characterized by the Republicans that way, but that's a tactic that they use."
Stahls asked Pelosi how her uncompromising nature might place the American people in the middle of political debates. "What about we want results for the American people? What about the COVID relief package?"
"Yeah," admitted Pelosi, to which Stahl pressed, "That was held up for eight months." Which began a rapid fire exchange where Pelosi looked flustered while searched for a way out of her admission and pivoted to blaming the opposition.
Nancy Pelosi: Right. But that was their (Republicans) obstruction. Understand this.
Lesley Stahl: Well, wait. Y--
Nancy Pelosi: Was their obstruction.
Lesley Stahl: Yours too.
Nancy Pelosi: Their obstruction.
Lesley Stahl: No, yours too. Takes two to--
Nancy Pelosi: No, it wasn't obstruction.
Lesley Stahl: You held out for eight months.
Nancy Pelosi: No, no. We held it up because there was no-- no respect for our heroes, our-- our state and local health care workers, police and fire, our first responders, our sanitation, transportation, food workers, our teachers, our teachers, our teachers. They would not go down that path.
Stahl challenged Pelosi further. "There's a member of your caucus who said specifically that, 'We look like obstructionists, and it was a mistake.'"
Pelosi denied the claim and then tried to justify the delay using a claim of social justice. "I don't remember anybody saying that…they may have. And they may have. But it isn't-- it wasn't a mistake. And I would not, and nobody expects me to, to support something that solidifies injustice in our country."