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Nancy Pelosi: If You Get Punched, Punch Back


CBS News' Rita Braver was granted intimate access to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a story that aired on CBS' "Sunday Morning" over the weekend.

On Monday's Washington Unplugged, she gave Bob Schieffer the insider details on the enigmatic and polarizing political maven.

Pelosi "has to be the captain even if it's the Titanic, she 's got to go down with the ship," Braver told CBS News' Bob Schieffer of Pelosi. If Democrats lose control of the House, as many political observers expect, it will end Pelosi's tenure as Speaker.

"Democrats are turning against her," Braver added. "A lot of them are not only running campaign ads distancing themselves from her, but they're coming out saying, 'I would not vote for her for Speaker again, if Democrats keep the majority.'"

Yet even with these trials and tribulations, Pelosi remains determined.

"She is incredibly tough," Braver said. "Steely is the word that so many people used about her when I was reporting on this story. But she's an odd combination, Bob. Here she is, somebody who is the Speaker of the House, but she defines herself as mother and grandmother."

Pelosi also told Braver that she's happier in the role of "grandmother" than "speaker."

"She says she likes being a grandmother of eight more than being Speaker of the House and I think a lot of people don't realize that she didn't even run for Congress until she was 47 years old," said Braver.

Pelosi isn't above rolling up her sleeves and throwing punches to achieve what she thinks is best for the American people. According to Braver, Pelosi told her that "if someone punches you, you punch them right back. And that's what she's like."

Watch Rita Braver's report on Speaker Pelosi here.

Watch Monday's Washington Unplugged above, also featuring National Journal's Major Garrett on Democrats new strategy to salvage control of the House and CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson on Tea Party candidates getting a boost from smaller donors.

"Washington Unplugged,"'s exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on each weekday at 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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