On Monday, after the House failed to pass the proposed bipartisan bailout package, the House Republican leadership quickly blamed a pre-vote speech by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they claimed was “partisan.” As ThinkProgress has noted, the GOP backed off that message when conservatives who voted against the bill said Pelosi’s speech had no effect on their vote.
“We are not babies who suck our thumbs. We have very principled reasons for voting no,” said Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on Monday. But on CNN’s Larry King Live last night, Bachmann changed her tune, claiming that Pelosi gave a “bitter” speech aimed at “attacking the bailout”
BACHMANN: I was actually just about to deliver my speech on the floor on the bailout bill when Nancy Pelosi entered the chamber and she gave the infamous speech that has been talked about. It was a very interesting speech, because it was highly partisan, bitter, attacking the Bush administration…
KING: But you were…
BACHMANN: …attacking the bailout…
Bachmann also said that the speech could have changed “some of our members’ minds” because she made clear that “she was planning to attack our members in tens of millions of dollars of campaign ads if they voted for the bill.” Watch it:
Bachmann appears to have no idea what she talking about when she says Pelosi was “attacking the bailout.” Though Pelosi did say the bill had “major disappointments” for her because it lacked certain provisions, she called for its passage as “the only message that will send a message of confidence to the markets”:
But this, this is a bipartisan initiative that we are bringing to the floor. We have to have a bipartisan vote on this. That is the only message that will send a message of confidence to the markets.
So I hope that — I know that we will be able to live up to our side of the bargain. I hope the Republicans will, too.
Not once in her speech did Pelosi ever hint that she wanted to turn the bailout vote into a campaign issue or plan to attack Republicans with “tens of millions of dollars of campaign ads if they voted for the bill.” In fact, she called for “a bipartisan vote” and then voted for the bill.