The Corner

Pelosi Loses It

On CNN. Partial transcript. Th fun kicker is bolded at the end:

KYRA PHILLIPS: Just another reality check. Congresswoman Pelosi, as we continue to follow, of course this developing information coming in. The hardest part. And I think it’s far from over. We are going to continue to hear about people that have been trapped. I mean, you are talking about such a swath of a region here. It’s just hard to listen to that, and to have to talk about that. And no doubt, it will be never ending. But I want to ask you, as you stand here and continue to criticize the administration, and criticize the director of FEMA, I do want to tell you the White House coming forward today. Scott McClellan coming forward today, and basically disputing your account of your meeting with the president. And I’m looking at it here saying that, you said you urged the president to replace the embattled FEMA director because of the poor emergency response to Hurricane Katrina. Um, however, McClellan saying that this is, that that’s not what you discussed with the president. That you were discussing other things with the president, and that things are being twisted here.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: That’s absolutely not true. Mr. McClellan wasn’t there. So he couldn’t possibly know. What happened was, I said to the president, Mr. President, we can begin to help these victims of Katrina become whole again. First thing you can do is to replace Michael Brown as the head of FEMA. To which the president said, why would I do that? And I said, because of what happened last week. And the failure of FEMA to be the real link between the federal government and the people in need in our country. The social compact to which the president said, what didn’t go right last week? That’s what happened in the meeting. I stand by that. If the president thinks everything went right last week, and he wants to keep Michael Brown there, then I think that’s going to be a cost to the American people and livelihood. But if he wants to then say that it didn’t go right last week, then he should replace Michael Brown.

PHILLIPS: But if we go back. I mean, we can go back year after year after year and we can talk about FEMA. And what went wrong within FEMA. And should FEMA be under the Department of Homeland Security. But if we want to be historical here, and we want to go back in time, I mean, we can go back to the Times-Picayune and the investigation that when reporters revealed that time after time, moneys were asked for from all types of various politicians. And politicians you worked side by side with. And laws that you yourself vote on, and moneys that should have gone to Louisiana to take care of the problems with regard to the flood control systems. And I think it’s unfair that FEMA is just singled out. There are so many people responsible…what has happened in the state of Louisiana.

REP. PELOSI: That is true. And I’m sorry that you think it’s unfair. But I don’t. I think it’s unfair to the people who lost their family members, their live, their livelihoods, their homes, their opportunity. And FEMA has done a poor job. It had no chance.

PHILLIPS: What about all the warnings from the Army Corps of Engineers? Years ago. Saying there’s a problem with these levees and with this city.

REP. PELOSI: Kyra –

PHILLIPS: It’s Kyra.

REP. PELOSI: If you want to make a case for the White House, go on their payroll.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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