Nancy Pelosi calls for Republicans to "take back" their party

(CBS News) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called for the Republicans to "take back their party" as the government shutdown stretches into its fourth day.

She said on "CBS This Morning," "There are within the ranks of the Republican Party -- and this is the bigger picture that the Republican Party has to deal with, and has an impact on our country -- if you don't believe in a government role, then it's easy for you to say in order to lift the debt ceiling, we want to eliminate all EPA rules for clean air, clean water, and the rest.

Government Shutdown Showdown 2013

Pelosi called to mind the fifth anniversary of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, that she said the Democrats passed in order for the country to move forward. "It was a terrible situation," she recalled. "The government was in meltdown. We didn't approve of the Bush policies that got us there in the first place. We didn't even like the bill he sent us, but it was essential for our economy, and for our financial industry, for our services industry, for us to do that. The Republicans abandoned their own president because they don't believe in a government role. We saved the day with 170 Democratic votes.

"You have to come to a conclusion ... they have something going on there. I say, Republicans take back your party," Pelosi said.

Asked if the Democrats would be willing to give on a larger budget deal on entitlements, Pelosi said the president has already agreed to cuts in the 2011 budget. Referring to that deal, she said, "That isn't a happy scenario for our members, but nonetheless it was part of the grand bargain, and it all depends on what the bargain is. We go to table saying that if you want to talk about the solvency of Social Security, talk about that, and all the money saved should go back in the Social Security, and the same thing for Medicare."

Pelosi said President Obama has "extended the hand of friendship over and over." She added, "I think that has been lost in the news, but if you say to the president, 'We only will open government if you eliminate the Affordable Care Act' -- that's just a non-starter."

Pelosi said what the president is doing is standing firm that the full faith and credit of the U.S. is "not negotiable." She added, "Everything else in a budget is -- but they -- they can't say our first premise is you have to overturn the Affordable Care Act."

"CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King remarked, "It really seems like white noise. They say something, they say something, and people are saying just work it out."

Pelosi replied, "I agree that it seems that way. It doesn't mean that we fold when it comes to the well-being of our children, and what they are doing is really very, very harmful as we go forward. Having said that, let's find a path to get this done.

"The speaker has said he wants to do something the bipartisan way," she continued. "I asked him as recently as yesterday, 'Can we sit down and talk about that.' Hopefully we will be able to today after he meets with our caucus, but our caucus has agreed to their number."

Pelosi was visiting New York Friday for the Women's Economic Agenda Project called "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds." She said the goal is to help women in the workplace achieve equal pay, paid sick leave and child care. "Even though the government is shutdown," she said, "we still have to think and imagine ways how to make the future better. ... We think this would unleash the power of women in our economy, and men too. They need paid leave and sick leave and childcare, so we're very excited about the response we've received all over the country to this, and by the way, it will lift our GDP by two or three points if women are more in power."

For more with Pelosi, watch her full interview above.

  • Amanda Cochran

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