President Obama and Nancy Pelosi Share Stage After Setback
PhotoPresident Obama described Representative Nancy Pelosi, left, as an "outstanding" public servant...
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - President Obama and Nancy Pelosi Share Stage After Setback
President Obama and Nancy Pelosi Share Stage After
President Obama described Representative Nancy Pelosi, left, as an "outstanding" public servant at
a meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors in San Francisco.
Zach Gibson/The New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO -- Days after Representative Nancy Pelosi helped derail one of President Obama's
most important legislative priorities, the two shared a stage, a solarium and some tight smiles on
Friday as they spoke to the nation's mayors and then at an exclusive fund-raiser.
At a meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors in the afternoon, Mr. Obama offered a brief
compliment of Ms. Pelosi as an "outstanding" public servant. But at a fund-raiser Friday night, he
was more expansive, saying he could not have achieved anything in Congress without one important
partner in the House.
"Nancy Pelosi has been that partner," he said.
Ms. Pelosi, Democrat of California, was thoroughly complimentary in her remarks about Mr. Obama
at both events, saying at the mayors' meeting that the president's "middle-class economics have
produced results," including substantial reductions in unemployment, increases in private
employment and a soaring stock market.
Last Friday, Ms. Pelosi delivered a very different speech on the House floor, an impassioned plea
against a worker-assistance bill that was considered crucial to Mr. Obama's hopes of completing
negotiations on a 12-nation trade deal with Pacific countries. Democrats have long supported such
aid for workers displaced by global trade, but Ms. Pelosi opposed it to halt legislative progress on
the overall trade deal.
The president views the trade pact as vital to convincing Pacific nations that the United States will
serve as an effective counter to a rising China, and to persuading them that America is shifting its
longtime focus from Europe to Asia.
While labor unions and liberal Democrats have long viewed such deals with suspicion, opposition to
the Pacific pact has become particularly intense within Mr. Obama's own party, with even Hillary
Rodham Clinton -- who helped negotiate parts of the agreement when she was secretary of state --
recently saying that the president needed to listen to Democrats' concerns about the deal.
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Speculation about how Ms. Pelosi's move had affected her standing with the White House grew
intense over the past week. The White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, repeatedly parried questions
about whether Mr. Obama had been blindsided by Ms. Pelosi's actions and whether the two had
spoken by phone in the days after.
"Again, I'm not going to go through the details of the calls that he's made," Mr. Earnest said.
He said repeatedly that the president's longstanding relationship with Ms. Pelosi would survive their
difference of opinion over one issue, "even an issue as important as this one."
And on Friday night in Ms. Pelosi's own district, the two
seemed at ease with each other.
Mr. Obama's power as his party's most important figure
was on display after the speech to the mayors' conference.
A fund-raiser at the home of Tom Steyer, a hedge fund
manager and environmentalist, drew about 50 guests, who
paid $10,000 to $33,400 to hear Mr. Obama speak.
It was the second fund-raiser of the day for the president.
Ms. Pelosi breezed into the room, which overlooks the
Golden Gate Bridge, in a blue suit and gold heels in honor
of the champion Golden State Warriors and quickly
greeted a small group of reporters. When Mr. Obama entered a moment later, he shouted at the
reporters gathered around her. "Is she doing a press conference?" he asked, laughing.
Ms. Pelosi's remarks were a paean to Mr. Obama's stewardship of the economy and environment,
and she thanked the president for emissions standards and other initiatives he had undertaken by
seizing "executive opportunities."
"These are remarkable changes the president has done by executive action," she said. She
mentioned a climate agreement with China. "Thank you, Mr. President, for this," she said.
Mr. Obama ended the night with a pitch for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the
sponsor of the fund-raiser, whose members had so recently stymied him.
"It's not like I agree with my Democratic caucus on everything," he said, pausing for laughter and
then turning to grin at Ms. Pelosi. She smiled and turned a shade darker than her shoes.
"But on 98 percent of things, they're moving in the right direction," he said.