tv Speaker Pelosi Discusses Democracy Bipartisanship with Mc Cain Institute CSPAN June 1, 2021 3:02am-3:30am EDT
memories of the late senator john mccain. >> hello. i'm cindy mccain. i am very honored today to have a good friend of mine join us. nancy pelosi. she is the speaker of the house of representatives and a continuous breaker at the glass ceiling. an extremely effective leader respected and feared on both sides of the aisle. my husband john did not always agree with her, but he always respected her. madame speaker, thank you so much for joining me today and welcome to the sedona forum. speaker pelosi: thank you very much. it's a great honor to receive your invitation and have a conversation with you today on
subjects of patriotism and respect. i have family and arizona. it is a pleasure. cindy mccain: thank you. i have some questions about leadership and more. i would like to get started if possible. as you mentioned, even before you were speaker of the house, you and my husband did not always agree on issues but it
was always allowed you would have a working relationship. i would like your comment on that and your time working with him. speaker pelosi: we had a loyalty. my son went to principal high school so we had a team spirit all the way back. as you set, we did not always agree but we had respect for each other's point of view. that was the time when bipartisanship was the norm. you had confidence in your own point of view and debate was invigorating. it was not a negative, it was positive.
we were on the same side for some legislation. when i first became speaker the house, he came to me and said i need this bill to come out of the house and you are going to have to do it. we were not the majority of the time but he figured i would get it done. we prevailed and got it done working together and it was wonderful for our country and our democracy. john mccain had patriotism and a love of our democracy.
we work together early in the 1990's on human rights in china and were recently we worked under the leadership of secretary dole with the hidden heroes. the launch of it was in my office and we were cochairs of the initiative to help the families of wounded warriors. there are many other things we talk about. whether it was valuing the veterans and country or democracy or the high school or human rights in the china issue when others, it was a pleasure to work with him.
cindy mccain: thank you. i know we miss his voice. one of the things i wanted to ask this year's theme of the forum is defending democracy. you are on capitol hill january 6 when the attack occurred. what was it like to return to the floor the house that evening after the insurrection and why it was so important to return
that night? we all watched the whole thing at home with great anticipation to see what would happen and your leadership was very instrumental that night. speaker pelosi: there was a -- that was a really horrible situation instigated by the then president of the united states. when security came to me and pulled me off the podium, i thought it was a precaution. i did not realize it was a necessity. we saw what was happening, that the president of the united states has toppled the temple of -- has breached the temple of
democracy. for it to be vandalized and the way it was, the worse the vandalism god, the more definite it was we had to go back that night. there were those who said let's bring everybody to the undisclosed location. i said, that is not going to happen. mitch mcconnell shared that view, chuck schumer shared that view. we would return to the capital -- capitol. we sign up for this. we are figures in the party and we know the consequence. but for the staff and those who have to undergo this, it was dramatic and sad but necessary that we would return to the podium in the house and senate and say, we are here and we are
going to affect the election of the president. this is the day of that vote. the day we will decide who will be president of the united states. but there were still those on the other side of the break i'll in the house who knowingly voted on their side not to accept the result of the election. the fact is at the end of the day we knew what would happen at the beginning of the day. biden would be president. cindy mccain: i was at home watching with a friend of mine in disbelief of what was going on. in that moment when the house and senate reconvened, it meant
the world to us because it reassured us that our democracy and leaders were safe. so i just want you to know from a personal standpoint, it was very important and meaningful for me to see what you all did and then to begin and go back to what what you are doing, it -- we all know it was awful. he were the first -- you are the first speaker the house female and you had to overcome a lot to become the first and only speaker the house for it i would like to hear a little bit about your journey and how it relates to the debates today for inclusion and opportunity in underserved communities. speaker pelosi: i appreciate you asking that question. just to finish off the previous,
can you imagine what john mccain would have been thinking that day? mrs. mccain: we were all wondering that that day. speaker pelosi: there are certain things we take into our arena but i will never forget the trauma they caused for our staff, as well as for what the former president said about john mccain. we had our disagreements, but for the president to try to diminish the patriotism of john mccain was just a dealbreaker in terms of this person, outside the realm of any reasonable behavior. ok. glad you asked the question, not because i like to talk about myself but because i want young women out there that a long time
ago when i was young i had no intention of running for office. i was raised in a political family. my father was mayor almost my whole life. but i never had any interest. when i was a teenager in the 1950's, the time of elvis presley, i was ready to be normal. but we learned that public service was a calling. i got married and had five children, i was involved -- i was from baltimore and he was from san francisco, when they came to me and asked me to run for congress, i had no intention. i was chair of the democratic party of california, but that was behind the scenes, advancing others.
so two women i would say, just be ready. you never know when an opportunity will come. no k --now why, how you can get things done strategically, and how you connect with people. that is what makes you a leader and it is very necessary. there is more hope for our politics and government when they increase the participation of women. so be ready. you never know. mrs. mccain: i completely agree. we admire the amount of women you have on your staff and the amount of women being included not only in staff but in
politics and running for office. i love to see that and i am grateful you are such a mentor to many of them. speaker pelosi: when i came, there were 23 women and now there are 123. mrs. mccain: it's wonderful. speaker pelosi: give women encouragement. mrs. mccain: right. what -- one of the areas i would like to highlight today is the glaring wage disparity between men and women. i know you worked very hard on this issue. could you tell me a little bit more about the paycheck fairness act and what you hope to accomplish? speaker pelosi: it is well overdue. you have to wonder why anyone
who has a mother, sister, daughter, wife, why they would be opposed to them receiving the same pay for the same work as a man. the paycheck fairness, april 15 is a big day for us because it is the day it passed the house again and hopefully i can pass the senate. within one month we had already passed the violence against women act and the equal rights amendment on the floor of the house. so just to remove all obstacles to participation. but paycheck fairness is a mystery to me because why would you not pay women the same for the same jobs? it should not be this struggle and we are hoping it will pass the senate. it is supported by president biden.
it is remarkable that we have to make these kinds of fight. we also have a fight for equality, the equality act. you would think we not have to do these things. mrs. mccain: yes. it creates many opportunities for women on family -- women and families and that is what this is about in my opinion, to make sure we can give a leg up to those who are struggling. so i appreciate your work. lastly, i would like to mention my husband was a proud republican, as we know. he believed in a bipartisan approach to solve america's challenges, as he said so many times. do you see a chance at all in
congress of bipartisanship? and if we do or don't, how these issues affect china, the infrastructure, all of the big issues. primarily, bipartisanship. speaker pelosi: he was a proud republican and again, we respect people for being true to what they believe in. it should not be a barrier for opportunity and i think we have a responsibility to find common ground and we have to stand our ground. but we must try and fight in a bipartisan way. issues on china, issues go back prior to the 1990's. infrastructure has always been bipartisan, the safety bridges,
access to transportation, broadband, it is so many things that people need. in this country, it is not partisan. people know what they need and what we give face value two is when the community comes together around an issue in a nonpartisan way. that is a gold star for us choosing a project. in the history of our country, president's have recognized that -- thomas jefferson had the first infrastructure. the country was growing.
they built the erie canal and cumberland road. things that unified the country. years later, teddy roosevelt, hayes infrastructure initiative was the national park service. president eisenhower and a time when the economy was not great, insisted on the interstate highway system in order to unify the country. it was a big deal. al gore's father introduced the bill in the u.s. senate. list bipartisan. so now we have big needs. the most expensive maintenance
is no maintenance. things need repair. i think in the country there will be strong bipartisanship. but let's try to find the conversation. it's a practical matter. in terms of values, china, i think that should not be partisan in any way. it should be as nonpartisan as anything. we have seen each other at new security conference, john and you have both been so central to that. when people come together to find common ground, because security is our responsibility.
we have to protect and defend the constitution and americans. security, economics, government, all these things come into the category of our relationship with any country, and certainly china. i have been fighting china for over 30 years about human right. -- human rights. you try to find a place where you can come together because the world needs as much cooperation as we can get. but from a security statement, we have to make a judgment and a value standpoint and i have said if we refuse to criticize china because of economic reasons, we will have no authority about human rights in any place.
in my experience in congress it has always been bipartisan. and it continues to be. mrs. mccain: i really appreciate those words. the growth has been phenomenal but lack of infrastructure and those things you mentioned has been dismal. so i look forward, i am getting very excited about new growth out here. i do not want to take anymore of your time but i just want to thank you so much. as a final note, for your work on human trafficking. i know you have been very involved in the issue and care very deeply about it. i know the importance for not just you, but those of us who believe in what is right about
humans and what is good for america. so i just want to thank you on behalf of those who work really hard on the issue for your work. speaker pelosi: let me thank you because you have really been a recognized leader in all of this, whether as chair of the incident, human trafficking advisory council, cochair of the governor's council, it is such a sad, situation and that you would make it a priority with your standing and the respect you command elevates the issue. it gives people hope. you have a vision about what you want to accomplish. you know the issue. you have a plan to get something done. and you are drawing support your
efforts in a way that will make a difference. thank you for your leadership. it is in keeping with senator mccain and how he was on issues that related to torture and the dignity and worth of people. i had the privilege of meeting john mccain's mother at the showing of the documentary. mrs. mccain: so wonderful. speaker pelosi: i sent her, i warn you, -- i want to say to you, thank you for raising your son to be a champion of democracy. thank you for making him the person he is that we all admire. she said, actually, he did it himself. mrs. mccain: she very humble.
i know she does it. i love her to death. i loved her more than anything. thank you so much for being with us today. i am so grateful you took the time to join us at the institute for the sedona form. next year, we hope to see everyone in person. thank you so much. speaker pelosi: thank you for your leadership, patriotism, and your hospitality today.