Sunday Smackdown: Nancy Pelosi Schools GOP Talking Point Machine David Gregory

David Gregory tried his best to shove Republican talking points about the Affordable Care Act down Nancy Pelosi’s throat, but the former Speaker was too smart for him.

Watch here via MSNBC:

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First Gregory attempted to corner Pelosi into the frame Republicans are pushing, which is that repealing ACA is doable and hence something they can campaign on. Nancy not only got in her talking points about why ACA is going to be good for the American people, but she zinged him by pointing out that the fight is not between Democrats and Republicans but between Democrats and insurance companies (masquerading as Republicans).

Transcript via MSNBC (emphasis added):

Pelosi: As far as we’re concerned, the victory is there for the American people. If you’re a person with a child with diabetes, no longer will they be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition. If you’re a woman, no longer will you have to pay more. No longer will being a woman be a pre-existing medical condition. You pay less for your prescription drugs. And nothing for a preventive wellness checkup. And for everybody, no more lifetime limits on the coverage you receive. This and for other reasons, if you are a young person, you can be on your parents’ policy if you both agree to that. And so for the American people, yes, the fight is over. Others will try to challenge, but —

Gregory: Well, Republicans have said they won’t waste any time to try to repeal this. Is that fantasy from your point of view?

Pelosi: It’s being the mouthpiece of the health insurance industry. And we’re saying let’s not have them be in charge anymore. Let the people be in charge of how they receive coverage and health care.

Oh, ouch Nancy.

Gregory tried to say that the American people don’t like ACA and it’s because the President hasn’t done his job selling it. Nancy countered by pointing out that in fact, the healthcare industry spent $200 million on ads to ensure that the American people didn’t like it (also, Frank Luntz helped Republicans muddy the waters, Fox News gave free air time to kill it, and Sarah Palin’s death panels sure helped).

Gregory: Don’t you acknowledge, even it’s passed the Supreme Court, there’s still a lot of work to be done by this president to persuade the American people this is a good thing for them, to, in essence, win the argument, which he hasn’t done?

Pelosi: Well, I think that he did very well the day that the bill got the approval so, to speak, but the decision was made and announced by the Supreme Court. But, yes, it’s always a conversation with the public, especially when you think that the health insurance industry spent $200 million putting out negative misrepresentations about the health care bill, when it was on the floor and coming to fruition and since. $200 million.

Gregory hammered home the Republican talking point that this is a “tax” on the American people, to which Pelosi countered no, it’s a tax break/credit for those who buy insurance and a penalty for those who can afford health insurance but choose not to take responsibility for themselves by having it:

Gregory: That’s not how it was sold to the American people. That’s not how it was sold to the American people.

Pelosi: It’s a penalty. It’s a penalty that comes under the tax code for the 1% perhaps of the population who may decide that they’re going to be free riders. But that does not affect most people.

Gregory: But it is a tax on the American people.

Pelosi: No. It’s a penalty for free riders. But since you’re bringing up the subject, it’s important to note the middle-income families will get about $4,000 in tax breaks and tax credits in order to have their health insurance, to buy their health insurance. So middle-income families make out very well in this. Businesses get tax credits to provide health insurance for their workers. So what we’re saying is is those who take responsibility get the protections of this bill.

Gregory tried to pass a question based on the premise that Democrats lost the House because of the Affordable Care Act, “You’re confident, given the heavy toll that the health care fight exacted on the president and on the parties and on the loss of control of the House, that Democrats in the House and Senate running in tight re-election races, they are going to wholeheartedly embrace health care reform and campaign on it?”

But Nancy corrected him again, pointing out that unemployment was high. Of course, neither of them pointed to the truth that mid term elections often fall to the opposing party (see George W. Bush, Gregory), as the American people don’t like one party to be in charge without checks and balances.

Gregory’s assumption that Democrats lost power in 2010 because of the Affordable Care Act is also questionable because Democrats maintained power in the more powerful Senate. The American people were nervous and unhappy, but not enough to give the reins back to Republicans. They gave Republicans the chamber with the least power, and those elections were the most localized.

Then she used Gregory’s talking points that if the Democrats lost the House because of unemployment then the President will lose the November election for the same reason, to push for overturning Citizens United. Pointing to the influence of dark money, Pelosi dared Republicans to get on board in disclosing campaign money, “And I add to the abcs of that a dare, a dare to reduce the role of money in campaigns because you cannot separate the policy from the politics. The bread box and the ballot box are connected, and they are. So we are daring, disclose. I’m Nancy Pelosi and I support this ad. They should disclose, too. Amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United. Reform the system to reduce the role of money. And elect reformers of either party or any party.”

Naturally, Gregory ignored this plea for transparent campaign money.

Pelosi also managed to work in all that the President did with no help from Republicans regarding unemployment, but I wish she would have asked Gregory to address the question regarding unemployment to his next Republican guest. Shouldn’t Gregory ask them why they refuse to pass any jobs bill but the veteran’s job bill?

Gregory kept talking over Pelosi – badgering her and treating her like an enemy combatant. Shouldn’t he be on Fox News with this attitude? Sure, a good journalist should push, but this is far from Gregory’s obsequious feeding of unchecked propaganda when he’s interviewing a Republican. Every single question he asked was based on a Republican premise as a given fact, rather than posited as an objective question. He could have said, “Republicans claim -” but instead he presented the Republican claim as reality and tried to force her to counter it.

Pelosi is too smart for David Gregory, and she easily knocked down his talking points and used the open window to get in easy to remember facts about what ACA will do for the American people, while also managing to bring some sunshine to the Republican desire to keep their campaign money dark. Let this be a lesson to all elected officials who care about democracy — when you are interviewed about any topic, find a way to discuss the damaging influence of Citizens United on democracy, because the corporate funded main stream media won’t bring it up.

Pelosi’s interview was the cherry on top of a very good week.

29 Replies to “Sunday Smackdown: Nancy Pelosi Schools GOP Talking Point Machine David Gregory”

  1. I think there is no thinking person who isn’t clear that David Gregory is a Republican presstitute, and Rep. Pelosi came prepared for his little Pretty Baby performance.

  2. God I hate Gregory, apparently Ginsburg wrote there is a tax on the american people, they pay a lot of money in higher insurance premiums for the cost of care for the un-insured.
    I learned today that Obamacare is not exactly the same as Romneycare.
    Romneycare covers undocumented workers, it also covers abortions.

  3. Thanks Sarah for writing this post. Gregory is such a poor, poor excuse for a journalist. Tim Russert must be turning over. He seriously needs to be replaced. Meet the Press has lost it’s status every since Gregory took over. Money has consumed cable tv and journalism just like it has consumed politics. The public has to do its own research these days or find outlets such as PloiticUsUsa to get the truth.

  4. You know I have a theory about the dirt poor republican states, the repubs put so little money into public education that the people do not know what they are being cheated out of. As Wendell Potter said when he went out to a field with remote area medical, the people stood in line all night trying to get basic treatment, many were treated in cattle pens and on make shift gurneys, he thought he was in a third world country.
    That is when he gave up his gold plated CEO job and became a spokesman against the industry.

  5. Yes, and those dirt poor Republican states would have less than nothing if ‘they got the government off their backs” since WE in the normal world send our tax money to support them.

    Now, I’m not complaining about this federalism, but to be so dependent on our largesse and then to kick us in the teeth over and over again…

    Besides, new polling shows support for ACA went up

  6. I hope Palin saw this interview since she had the nerve to call Ms. Pelosi a ‘ding bat.’ I can’t imagine her keeping her cool or displaying as much knowledge about the ACA and government policies as Ms. Pelosi did in this interview with the GoP media troll David Gregory.

  7. I have several times had the feeling that Gregory lives in a rather tall closet, and wonder if this has anything to do with pressures exerted on his “journalism” (and I note that it is determination not to have the closet door opened, rather than any orientation itself, that would exert the pressure)

  8. Thanks for the transcript! I live in small town Texas with intermittent low-speed internet.

    Almost-Speaker-Again Pelosi did an amazing job, especially given the rude male behavior Gregory exhibits – talking over, interrupting etc. I guess we have a way to go before bullying becomes socially unacceptable everywhere. I gave up cable a year ago because who cares? There’s no news on the news channels and no entertainment on the entertainment channels, and I’m just hearing impaired enough to find it massively irritating to have people talking over each other when I’m trying to figure out what they’re saying and where they stand.

  9. Nancy Pelosi did a great job. David Gregory is a prick who will ultimately lose his job. The ratings of his program are at 20 plus years low.

  10. When Tim Russert had it, I was a regular. As time went on, I watched it less and less, and shortly after the Giffords shooting, I just quit.

    My feeling is that there were much better qualified candidates, perhaps even actual journalists, for the spot, and somebody put in the fix for Gregory.

  11. The approval numbers for the ACA should go up and continue to go up as Americans find out that the fearmongers and naysayers in the Republican Party (mouthpieces for Big Insurance, as accurately put in the article) sold them a bill of goods. This bill still needs tweaking and even Rep. Steny Hoyer said that they need to examine the Medicaid provision handed down from the Court, but this bill isn’t going anywhere. As long as the Dems keep answering propaganda with facts, the GOP won’t have anywhere to go.

  12. Nancy answered all of his questions with utmost truthfulness. The Republicans continue to overpower everything. The corporations are putting out unfair propoganda. Our President is going to win. People aren’t going to swallow all the lies when they begin to see the good things healthcare will bring to them. She calmly answered the things he was shoving down her throat. The healthcare mandate is not a tax. It is a penality. The penality comes under the tax code and is only weighed on those who refuse to purchase when they have the means. Middle class is also, getting 4,000 dollars in tax breaks to help implement this.

  13. Gregory should have taken a lesson from Tim Russert. He was a disgrace to the world of journalism. Nancy did a phenomonal job in explaining the ACA and exposing the real problems. When Sarah(Palin) calls Nancy Pelose a dingbat there is no doubt she is confused. Out with Gregory…replace him with a real journalist!

  14. Well it looks like it kinda went like this:

    Have a seat son.

    School’s in session and grandma Nancy is giving the lesson today.

    Pull the Koch Bros. nipple out of your mouth and try to pay attention.

  15. Even Nancy Pelosi is wrong about the reason Democrats lost the House in 2010. Almost every single Democrat that lost was a Blue Dog. People in their districts were fooled by the Koch funded bused in self-professed “Tea Party” and still think that is a separate party from the Republicans. Trent Lott’s Americans For Prosperity is a front group for the Kochs just as ALEC is and the NRA. When all the “news” that is able to be accessed by most people consists of 24/7/365 right wing talking points and LIES promoting fear and terror in their hearts the truth can NEVER be heard. We elect Democrats to BE Democrats not Republican’s Light. Yes, compromise is necessary but totally caving is not compromise. Every time Republicans agree to something they then move the bar and then they agree to that and move again until there’s nothing left to bargain with.
    With Republicans it’s all business all the time. They don’t care if every one of the 312 million Americans who aren’t millionaires or billionaires are systematicall killed off by their corporate friends just so long as the profits and the donations are big enough. They support the poisoning of every drop of water, pollution of every acre of land, destruction of every ounce of soil and malicious elimination of every mountain if one extra penny can be made by one more millionaire even it it includes the death of every man, woman and child and all the wildlife in the country.

  16. I do not watch Meet the Press and I will not watch it with David Gregory as the host. He softballs Republicans but treats Democrats like they just gave him bed bugs. All he does is GOP talking points; he doesn’t even try to hide his partisanship anymore.

    That said, one would have to get up pretty darn early to rattle Nancy Pelosi. She has such a command of the issues and I realize, after interviews like this, why the Fright Wing hates her. She’s a strong, intellectual, caring woman and she won’t be bullied into going along with something that she knows is wrong. I hope we retake the House in November. This woman deserves to be Speaker again and we need a real leader in that position.

  17. I used to LOVE watching “Meet the Press”; egging on Tim Russert’s dispassionate remarks geared toward both Republicans and Democrats. Now, I OFTEN wonder what was NBC thinking when they hired David Gregory – a blatantly biased conservative reporter.
    We didn’t appreciate Tim Russert because he said what we wanted to hear, but he objectively examined BOTH Parties; something David Gregory knows nothing about.

  18. I couldn’t agree with you more!
    Unfortunately for me, I just found this site today! (I’ll definitely bookmark it.)

  19. I have to say that I was so flabbergasted that Meet the Press actually started with a Democrat! a Democrat Woman! and a Democrat Woman who holds a powerful leadership role! that I barely cared how rude he was. I knew Nancy would not let him make her look foolish.

  20. 1st – I do NOT like Pelosi.
    2nd – You can certainly tell that the guy is working with the right wing owners of the MSNBC with this whole interview. Trying so hard to have Pelosi give the Republiturds some type of quote they can blast all over their lie machine to make it worse for the working people.
    3rd – The “Get the money out” and the mention of the Constitutional Amendment to kill the Citizens United decision was right on. That, that unlimited corporate fascist money being poured into the media to spread lie after lie to a public that barely has the attention span of a gnat is what is really killing America and the American Dream. That “corporations are people, my friend” is the largest enemy to America right now that we have, because corporations do NOT care about the real flesh and blood people of America, they care only about profit and power. And as history has shown, corporations do not care how many people have to die to make that profit.

  21. And the Conservative Right Wing Nut Jobs plus the Tea Party Militia try to parrot the lie of “Liberal media bias”…what retards! LMAO

  22. So much for the alleged “Liberal media bias”; in fact, some of the “Liberal” media recently admitted that they were covering for the GOP, but that they’re not doing it anymore; besides, the GOP still has their shameless propaganda arm, The Fascist Dumb Fux “News” Channel (Fox “News”)

  23. And Gregory seemed to have run out of talking points about half way thru, which means he is as vacuous as all the republicnas, he keeps parading in and out each week. Pelosi skewered him on every one of his talking points, especially the tax issue. Hey, Greggie, the penalty is a fee collected thru the tax code. It’s a penalty, not a tax. If you don’t file your taxes on time, you get a penalty fee plus all due taxes and interest. The penalty is not a tax, you idiot. Same idea, kapesch? Now go over to Fox news. You are already as crazy as they are.

  24. Tim Russert would be screaming. He never took sides. He was hardcore with both parties. The only other old school reporter(?) would be Chris Matthews. He is a democrat, but he interviews as though they are enemy combatants and he must make them own what they say. We are talking both dems and reps. If you say it to him, he is going to make you explain why you believe as you do and Chris has the mental data to keep them honest.

    When Chris finishes playing hardball, you the viewer feel like you’ve been interviewed.

    Lawrence O’Donnell does the same, but Lawrence destroys his guests. He is a partisan hack and I love him. He takes his people apart. You’ve got to be ready for him, but he will cut you no measure.

  25. Gregory makes it evident that the American airways need to be taken back by America.

    This constant corporate sales approach to news is limiting our country.

  26. David Gregory is useless. Bobby Jindahl lied right in his face about Mitt Romney endorsing a national health insurance mandate backed by a tax penalty. All the Meet the Press staff could find was a 2006 video instead of the June 2009 video of their own show where Mitt recommended that the President model his health care reform bill on Romneycare with its mandate and tax penalty. He couldn’t even find the USA Today Op Ed where Romney made the very same recommendation. This was during the period when the Congress was debating the legislation. Sheesh.

  27. You liberals should all be ashamed of yourselves. Your comments are childish, churlish, hate-filled, and show a lack of reasoning, tolerance, and just plain civility that is truly amazing.

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