Nancy Pelosi quote reel: Gaffe-prone Dem leader the new Joe Biden?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi boasted earlier this year she's a "master legislator."

Perhaps – but her record of gaffes as an orator is starting to rival former Vice President Joe Biden's.

From mixing up presidents to confusing her clichés, Pelosi has repeatedly stumbled this year as she tries to project confidence about her party's standing going into 2018.

No doubt, the pressure is high. The California Democrat has been pressed to promote her own resume and successes after some of her fellow House Democrats called for her resignation earlier this year amid repeat special election losses.

But she's responded with some over-the-top, almost-Trumpian boasts, and a string of gaffes and missteps.

Here’s a look at some of Pelosi's 2017 highlights.

A wolf in a movie viewer’s clothing

Ahead of a planned right-wing rally in San Francisco, Pelosi called on the National Park Service to reconsider issuing a permit to the group. In explaining her opposition to the rally, the congresswoman seemed to confuse the parable about the 'boy who cried wolf' with a famous court case.

Pelosi said she was opposed to the rally – organized by the group Patriot Prayer – and hoped “the Park Service would not allow these elements to use a national park to spew forth their venom,” in an interview with KRON-TV.

“The Constitution does not say that a person can yell wolf in a crowded theater,” Pelosi said.


Pelosi seemingly was attempting to paraphrase former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s opinion from the controversial free speech case, Schenck v. United States in 1919.

“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic,” he wrote.

Holmes’ quote is considered to be “wildly misunderstood” and part of “one of the most odious free speech decisions in the Court’s history.”

Pelosi’s opposition to the California event comes after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month turned deadly when a man rammed his car through a crowd of counter-protesters.

Victory in the eye of the beholder

In the same interview with KRON, Pelosi also boasted that Democrats have “won every fight” against Republicans – despite a series of special election losses over the summer.

Pelosi questioned the reporter who accused the Democratic Party of not “capitalizing” on “disarray” within the GOP.

“What do you mean, not capitalizing? We’ve beaten them on appropriations, and we’ve won every fight,” Pelosi said.


“We are getting ready for an election, the election of 2018, in which we expect to take back the Congress,” Pelosi said, adding that she hoped Republicans would join the Democrats’ economic plan. “We’re, in our view, in a good place.”

Democrats lost special election House seats over the summer in Georgia, South Carolina, Montana and Kansas.

‘You want me to sing my praises?’

Following calls from some of her Democratic colleagues to resign, the minority leader defiantly touted her own record as a “master legislator” during a June press conference.

“So you want me to sing my praises, is that what you’re saying?” Pelosi said to a reporter who asked about the calls for her resignation. “Well, I’m a master legislator. I am a strategic, politically astute leader. My leadership is recognized by many around the country, and that is why I am able to attract the support that I do which is essential to our elections.”

She also said she “thrive[s] on competition” and “love[s] the arena.”


Pelosi added that she’s been told “all the time” that she raises more money than anybody – other than maybe the Clintons and Obamas. However, she said, rather than spending a lot of that money on herself, she gives it to other Democrats.

“I think I’m worth the trouble, quite frankly,” Pelosi said. “I love the fray. I’m not disrespectful of people’s views. I respect any positive things that people want to say – or even negative as long as it’s constructive.”

Pelosi repeated her record as a “master legislator” during an interview with Fox News one month later.

“Self-promotion is a terrible thing, but somebody has to do it,” she said. “I am a master legislator. I know the budget to the nth degree. I know the motivation of people. I respect the people who are in Congress.”

‘Please clap’

During a speech before Families USA, a nonprofit health care advocacy group, Pelosi made sure to interrupt her own address about ObamaCare to instruct the audience to clap.

“And by the way, when I said that we could not have done it without Families USA and without you, that is an applause line for you,” Pelosi said.

She again shouted “applause line” after she congratulated the new executive director of Families USA, Frederick Appel Isasi.


Other than directing the audience on when to clap, Pelosi also referred to John Kasich as the governor of Illinois. Kasich is actually the Republican governor of Ohio.

Trump versus Bush

Ever since Donald Trump became president, Pelosi can’t seem to get former President George W. Bush out of her mind. The minority leader has inadvertently referred to Trump as Bush numerous times over the past few months.

“President Bush tries to charm you. If that doesn’t work, he tries to bully you. If that doesn’t work, he walks away,” Pelosi said during her weekly press briefing in June. She apologized to Bush a few minutes later after an aide handed her a note to apparently inform her of the mistake.

In February, Pelosi said that she’s “seen nothing that I can work with President Bush on,” during her press conference.

During an April interview with ABC News, Pelosi said that she was “praying” for Bush to be president again.