Transcript: Speaker Nancy Pelosi Speaks to ABC's Diane Sawyer


If we can't, we have to-- vote in a way that we believe-- but we also have to try to find-- common-- more areas where we have common beliefs. And-- I-- I have-- I thought this after, the day after the election, that we want to congratulate the winners, offer a hand of friendship to work together. But-- the next election-- is-- seems a long time away to us right now, but-- we don't have any intention of preparing to lose it.

But again, what-- the only reason to be here, the only reason to run for office is to get the job done for the American people. I would hope that elections wouldn't have to be so urgent, where there would be such a big distinction. And-- and if we can work together, then we'll see what the enthusiasm is for making change.

DIANE SAWYER: Last time we talked, I asked about your dad. It was after health care. And I think I thought I was going to get a sentimental answer. And I asked what he would be saying to you after that. And you said, he would probably be saying, you sure you have the votes?

NANCY PELOSI: (LAUGHS) That's right. For that. Maybe the next thing he would say is-- that-- I-- I heard what he and my mother were saying to us about our responsibilities-- to each other. I think he would say-- always have confidence in the American people. While in the short run this may not have-- the appeal-- that you want it to, the American people are very wise.

DIANE SAWYER: And truly, none of this is personally wounding to you?

NANCY PELOSI: You know, I've never had a-- shall we say, a personal commitment-- to whatever the job is.

DIANE SAWYER: But you're human. And things penetrate the skin. And you hear what they're saying. And you hear what they said in the results last night.

NANCY PELOSI: Well-- what's more important than that, you know, it's always a question of what you-- yes, but would you put that ahead of getting the job done for the American people so people-- so you're not as controversial a figure, or been made to personalize health care or-- or-- consumer protections and the rest. They don't say it that way.

But-- no. So, that-- that's less important to me. It's less important to me what they say about me than my colleagues not coming back, bringing their-- in some cases, long-term experience, and in other cases, new invigoration to the Congress. So-- it-- that is so much more important to me. I don't know. And maybe it's a-- level of-- being a woman, and having a sort of a-- commitment to what you have to do-- an understanding that you're not what is important in it. What's important in it is getting the job done, not keeping the job.

And I feel very at peace at-- with how things have proceeded. I would like to have won the election, don't get me wrong on that score. But the fact is-- we have advanced the ball down the field for health security, for consumer protections. We're leveling the playing field in terms of leverage for working families, vis-à-vis-- special interests in our country. We're proud of what we have done.

DIANE SAWYER: You left a message for John Boehner?

NANCY PELOSI: Well, I called him this morning. They told me what time to call him at, and I-- when he called-- he was then on his way to a funeral. So, he had a sadness to accompany all this joy today. But-- we're friends, and he knows that I wish him well personally. And for the American people, I wish him well in his work as well.

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