Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi went on the offensive against Republican “obstructionists” when she appeared Friday night on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
It was a much more political “Late Night” than we’re accustomed to — which was inevitable, given the partisanship of this election-campaign season. Not only is the presidency up for grabs in November, but so are all the seats in the House of Representatives. And Pelosi, understandably, is out stumping for Democrats.
And Jimmy Fallon gave her every opportunity to shine on “Late Night.” Even his house band, The Roots, got into the act, serenading her entrance onto the show with “Leader of the Pack” — a sharp contrast to the song titled “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” that they played last winter when Republican candidate Michele Bachmann appeared on the show.
Fallon asked Pelosi to comment on the divisions between the two major parties in Washington, and she answered that the divisiveness comes from the Republicans, not the Democrats.
“Obstruction has really been their philosophy,” Pelosi, 72, said of the Republicans in the House, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner.
“That makes it hard,” Pelosi told Fallon, “because you go there to get a job done for the American people — there [are] urgent needs, the creation of jobs etc. — but they just won’t cooperate with [President Obama]. So that’s why this election is so important. We must reelect President Obama and give him a Congress that can work with him.”
She even claimed that the Democrats in the House were much more willing to compromise with President Bush when she was Speaker of the House than the Republicans today with President Obama — an assertion that is probably so debatable that we expect Pelosi’s appearance on “Fallon” to get a thorough going-over on Fox News Channel next week.
She also belittled Republican firebrand Paul Ryan, who Mitt Romney chose as his running mate last week. “I don’t really know him,” she said of Ryan, “because I’ve never been to the gym.” As many people are aware, Ryan feels strongly about maintaining his physical fitness — a result of finding his own father dead of a heart attack. At the time, Ryan, now 42, was 16. His father was 55.
Pelosi then accused Ryan and, by extension, Romney, of supporting the “death of Medicare” — a claim that will likely also come in for criticism and debate in the week ahead.