Pelosi: Wealthy Republicans aren't all racists, anti-Semites, but 'that's how they vote'

Fueled by "endless money," Republicans rose to power in Congress in the '90s "to protect the financial assets of the rich," the House speaker claimed.

Updated: April 19, 2022 - 11:44pm

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Not all the “big money" donors behind Republican-connected foundations and nonprofits are "racists" or "anti-Semites," but "that's how they vote," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared Monday.

Interviewed by former California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer at the University of California at Berkley, Pelosi was asked why she thinks America's political parties are so divided today.

She said the large sums of money put into conservative foundations in the 1970s and 1980s fueled the Newt Gingrich-led Republican rise to power in the House in the 1990s.

"In the '90s, the Republicans used that money, big time money, to win the elections," she said at the "lecture" event. "They weren't supposed to, really, because it's not political money, but it was messaging money, and a certain speaker came along and used that and won."

“It was a way to protect the financial assets of the rich," she continued. "The free market system was not in danger. It wasn't a reason; it was an excuse, but it was big money, and it still is endless money, endless money. Now, I don't paint all those very wealthy people as racists, anti-Semites and whatever, Trumpian, but that’s how they vote."

If someone participates in a rally and "you see a sign saying pro-life, you can bet on the outside it says cut taxes," said Pelosi. "You see one that says something about the environment — cut taxes. It's just the way it is. We have to just take our country back for America's working families. The middle class is the backbone of our democracy, and it has a union label on it."

Pelosi said many observers have noticed that Republicans often stay on the same message.

"Well, money rules the message," she said. "We are the Democracy Party. We want to have a solid, clear message in the elections as they come up. We're not a lockstep, rubber stamp party, and we get criticized for that. People say, 'Well, why aren't you all "boom, boom, boom"? Well, because we're democratic —literally, figuratively, and in every way."

The San Francisco representative told the audience that President Joe Biden is the "fairest person" and the country needed him to win in 2020, as opposed to 2016, when many speculated he would run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

"I've said to him it's good thing you didn't win before because we really needed you now to be our president with all of your commitment to a vision of fairness in our country," she said.

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