In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer yesterday, outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stood by her agenda, particularly health care reform. Sawyer repeatedly asked her if she had any regrets, but the only concession Pelosi made was that Democrats could have worked harder on conveying their message.
"There's nothing I could do about nine and a half percent unemployment," Pelosi said. "I really don't like to look back so much. This is about looking forward, and we feel very confident about the decisions that we made. ... Should we have been talking about it more and working on it less? That's a question."
Pelosi made a distinction between voters rejecting the Democratic agenda and not being happy with the pace of economic recovery. "The message [of last night] was not, 'I reject the course that you are on,'" Pelosi said. "The message is that it didn't go fast enough to produce jobs."
Sawyer focused on the role of health care reform in Tuesday's elections, bringing up Republicans' desire to repeal the legislation--a course of action Pelosi said would be "most unfortunate."
The speaker stressed that the bill Congress finally passed was not without Republican input. "I had many things in the bill that I was personally committed to for decades" that didn't make the final cut. She cited the public option as one sacrifice she and her Democratic colleagues made. "That bill itself was a compromise. You'd never know that from the way it was represented. ... We just didn't have any Republican votes because they wanted to hold it up."
Sawyer moved on to Pelosi's presumed replacement as speaker, Republican Minority Leader John Boehner. "It's a high school question," Sawyer said, "but do you like him?"