This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," June 24, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight we go to the United States capitol. Earlier today Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi went "On the Record." We sat down with Speaker Pelosi in the Speaker's ceremonial office.
VAN SUSTEREN: Speaker, thank you very much for doing this.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D) CALIFORNIA, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: My pleasure.
VAN SUSTEREN: It's nice to see you.
PELOSI: It's nice to have you in the Speaker's ceremonial office.
VAN SUSTEREN: Gasoline--are prices going to come down? Consumers really care about this.
PELOSI: I heard this morning in the news that it is coming down three cents. What we have to do is think short-term and long-term on this. There is the possibility it could go up. We have to make sure that does not come true.
And we have to do it by thinking in terms of what we can do right now today to bring them down. And one of the things we were successful in doing was to encourage the president, who resisted at first, into not keep filling the strategic petroleum reserve.
Why should we buy oil and this high price to fill the reserve when we could just be putting it into the market to increase supply and reduce the cost at the pump.
VAN SUSTEREN: So that was suggested in April, passed by the House and the Senate, signed by the president in May, and now three or four cents down, about, today. Most Americans think that is not a whole lot of money.
PELOSI: June is when they'll stop--June 30 is a critical day in that. And we would have loved to have done it sooner. The president resisted. But now the people have spoken, the members have voted, and the president has signed the Bill. But June 30 is an effective date for the stopping of the refilling of the SPR.
VAN SUSTEREN: If we were having this conversation in December, do you anticipate with the work the Congress is doing what the president has signed and with other plans, that the price will be down further, because over $4.00 is really rough?
PELOSI: This next December?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, six months from now.
PELOSI: I would certainly hope so, and we have to make every decision in favor of that.
This week, on the floor, we will have legislation that, in addition to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve legislation that has been resisted but that we hope will be signed by the president--one is called "Use it or Lose it." And that means that there are 68 million acres of drillable lands on land or at sea, onshore or offshore, that have the approvals to go forward with drilling that the oil companies have these leases. They simply have not drilled.
And they are asking to drill other places.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why?
PELOSI: That is the question we're asking them--"Use it or Lose it." If you are not going to drill, give somebody else the opportunity, smaller company or an independent or someone the opportunity to have those leases, which are not expensive, but they could contain oil or gas.
And so our legislation will tighten the rules governing how you get a lease and what happens to it if you do not drill.
And I think that as the administration and others, John McCain and others say, let's drill offshore or in the arctic refuge and environmentally sensitive areas, why don't we drill where they have the permits right now, and do that to increase the supply to hopefully reduce the cost?
VAN SUSTEREN: When you asked that question, what is the answer you get, why won't if they have these a 68 million acres to drill, and they haven't? Is it that it is not cost-effective? And if that is not it, isn't the price going up above $4.00 an incentive to them?
PELOSI: The answer in two ways. Some say we are--we are drilling, and it takes a few years to see the results. Others say they do not have the equipment. If they don't have the equipment to drill onshore and offshore where they have the permits, what are they talking about now for additional drilling?
I believe that this call for more drilling when, in fact, they are not drilling where there are already permitted to do so is really a subterfuge, a decoy, to call attention and say, but for that, we would not have $4.00 gas.
But we do and we would have because of other policy decisions that were or were not made early on in the Bush administration. We have lost a lot of time in this 7.5 years on this subject.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you assign all of the blame for the high prices on the Bush administration, or do you look back historically to a number of factors, including appetite by the American people, other administrations, other congresses?
PELOSI: No, I don't assign blame to the Bush administration, I accuse them. I am more direct than that. I accuse them of ignoring something that was becoming apparent over time.
Ten years ago the price was under $11 in 1998--under $11. Two weeks ago, the cost of oil went up in one day nearly $11. So the policy decisions made by this administration in terms of energy have contributed to this oil crisis by not accepting early on the need for us to of renewable and other alternatives.
VAN SUSTEREN: Coming up, more of our interview with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Does the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy suggest that Senator Obama has poor judgment?
And was Senator Clinton a victim of sexism in the campaign? Speaker Pelosi will tell you what she thinks.
And, later, huge news out of Las Vegas--a suspect is under arrest in the beating and robbery of an NFL star. Another suspect is still being hunted by police. Who are these men? Was the NFL star seen with the suspects? The mystery is now deeper.
VAN SUSTEREN: Earlier today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi went "On the Record."
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me first focus for a second on Senator Clinton. She is back on the Hill today, and many people email me and say that she is the victim of sexism--not all, but many. Did sexism play a role in this election for her, number one? And number two, I know this morning you were quoting as saying that you, sometimes, have encountered sexism.
PELOSI: I think every woman who is making progress in gaining power is probably a victim of sexism. I can't document what happened in the presidential campaign as I am too busy being Speaker of the House and running my own races for Congress to retain and grow our Democratic majority in the House.
But I do not think that there is any question that there is some evidence that there was sexism in the campaign, but I can't tell you if that is the reason why Senator Clinton won or lost.
She made a great showing. She advanced to the cause of women enormously. We were thrilled with her candidacy, not just because she is a woman, but because she is a woman with great intellect, great dedication, great stamina, that she proved she could be president of the United States.
But there was an election, and I think that Senator Clinton benefited greatly by the enthusiasm of women, there is no question about that. And I do not know what the impact of the sexism and was. I know it is a sign of insecurity on those who exercise it. I do not know what the political impact of it was.
VAN SUSTEREN: You should see the e-mail I receive. I hear the Democratic Party talk about unity, and there is going to be unity in November. I hear that talk and I read my emails think it is almost delusional, because there are so many supporters of Senator Clinton who are absolutely outraged.
PELOSI: What are they outraged about? That she did not win?
VAN SUSTEREN: First of all, they do not like the caucus system. They do not like the crossover votes. They do not like the fact that the Florida and Michigan problem, they do not like that.
There is Senator Obama saying [of] Senator Clinton, Hillary is likable enough--they do not like that. They do not like that Senator Obama said to some woman reporter in Michigan something about, I will get to that, sweetie.
But these emails are unbelievable, and they are strident coming in to me.
PELOSI: I see the point.
What I find to be offensive, frankly, is the fact that the Republicans have not supported equal pay for equal work for women, that we cannot get them to support us for paid family and medical leave, issues that relate to, say, for example, SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The president says we cannot afford those 10 million children, to insure them in America --
VAN SUSTEREN: You are one vote. All the women who vote --
PELOSI: But these women will have to come down to a choice. They are going to have to come down to a choice. If they do not like the caucus system, that can be changed. But you cannot change the rules in the middle of the game.
So that is a process discussion at this point. We have a nominee, and the choice is between Barack Obama, who would make a great President of the United States, and John McCain, a very nice person. And the fact is that they have very different views on issues that relate to women.
And these same women who are writing these e-mails, and I contend to them, and I can say this with great authority, because I know of what I speak, they have the most to lose by the election of John McCain and the most to gain by the election of Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States.
VAN SUSTEREN: I should admit that there are a lot of conservatives who are disenchanted with their candidate, Senator McCain. They think he is not conservative enough.
But let me go back to Senator Obama, who is your presumptive nominee. You say that he has the better ideas, the change. Where is the experience and record that gives voters out there certainty that it is not just pretty words or not just a dazzling speech? Where is the record that gives them satisfaction that this will, indeed, happen?
PELOSI: I think the American people spoke very clearly that they wanted the fresh, new judgment that Senator Obama would bring to Washington, D.C.
A record of experience in Washington, D.C., on which is Senator McCain might be counting, is not one that the American people have confidence in. They reject the old ways of Washington.
Experience that Senator Obama is a new, fresher experience in local and state government, as a member of the state legislature, as a state senator.
What it is about, though, is about judgment. It is about judgment and it is about priorities.
VAN SUSTEREN: Based on what, though? Based on what?
PELOSI: Frankly, his lack of Washington experience, in my view, is a giant plus, because he comes here free, free and fresh and new, and not hamstrung by Washington, D.C., which is a city of status quo.
And I, as Speaker, have tried to break those shackles, but that cannot happen until we have a new president of the United States who understand that.
So I am not wedded to the thought of let me tell you how long I have done this. I want to know what is fresh about your thinking and to take us in a new direction, not with an anvil of the past around us.
VAN SUSTEREN: If judgment is the criterion, and I agree that we are on the brink of all of these very important issues, is that--I am going to bring up the Reverend Wright issue. On the day that he announced he was running for president, he, basically, put him in the basement.
Then, when it became very apparent that Reverend Wright was very distasteful to many Americans, he disavowed him. He went up to Philadelphia on March 18, gave a speech, saying, I do not disown him, I disown his words. And it was a very elegant speech, but it did not disown him.
Then when the Reverend Wright appeared at the National Press Club and took a personal shot at Senator Obama, that is the first time he disavowed him, when the personal shot went against him. Is that judgment, is that what we measure him by, or is that irrelevant?
PELOSI: No. Look, I am just glad he went to church. All these people talk about their faith and their religion, and I do not think any of them should be held accountable for everything that their pastors say in their church.
I have disagreements with some of the things my own pastors and churches that go to. And if I had to walk our every time I had an area of disagreement, then I would be hard put. It is a disagreement.
I do not think that the judgment that would be made by the American people will be about Reverend Wright. It did not work in Mississippi, and it did not work in Louisiana. That is where the Republicans tried to pin that on our Democratic candidates there.
What people want to know is--I do not want to know what your pastor said when and what you said about it. What they want to know is what are you going to do to create jobs, good paying jobs, so I get have economic security for my family? What are you going to do to give me some healthcare security, which is an economic issue in addition to being a health issue.
What are you going to do about the education of my children, the safety of my neighborhood, the security of our world?
People are thinking in a bigger way in this election.
VAN SUSTEREN: There is much more of our interview with Speaker Pelosi, so go to Gretawire.com where you can see our entire interview with the Speaker unedited.
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