Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared on ABC’s This Week With Christiane Amanpour and fielded a variety of questions about current events. In a portion of the interview that was only posted online, the ABC host asked Pelosi if, given the declining public support for the Afghan war, the President should act to “drum up support” for the conflict. The Speaker responded that the American people are “weary of war” and what they “really want to hear from the president now” is about their “economic security”:
AMANPOUR: When you talk to people around the country, and you see in some areas support slipping. And the president as you say is such a great communicator. Would it help you, would it be a good idea if he went out more to talk about what’s really at stake and drum up support?
PELOSI: What the American people really want to hear from the president now is, because I believe many of them are weary of war, they’re not weary of being protected, but weary of war, they’re worried about their economic security. And that’s what they want to hear from the president, is how do we go, is the president taking us in a forward direction? That’s what the people want to hear about, how we can create jobs in our country, as we reduce the deficit. Our agenda is about making it in America, make products in America, and make it as a person in America. It’s about protecting Social Security, it’s about lowering the deficit.
Indeed, polling finds that the economy and jobs are the foremost concern on the minds of Americans. And the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that only 43 percent of Americans find the war in Afghanistan worth fighting; the latest Gallup poll on the issue finds that 58 percent of Americans support a drawdown of U.S. troops from the country along the President’s proposed July 2011 timeline (although it is unclear what that timeline really entails).