Debra Saunders at the San Francisco Chronicle:
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi came to the Chronicle for an editorial board meeting Wednesday. I used the opportunity to ask Pelosi about her most famous and quoted statement from 2010. On March 9, 2010, Pelosi said of the Affordable Care Act, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.”
What did you mean by that? I asked.
Pelosi said that the quote “was taken out of context” and it is most often quoted “by the far right.”
The health insurance industry, she said, spent “$200 million while we were debating the bill to lie about it. … I hate to use the word lie. I hate to use the word hate. I hate to tell you, they’re lying about it.”
“We’re in the trenches fighting this out,” she said. And: “We don’t even have a bill written yet. The Senate has not acted. And that really, the president really thought he was going to get a Republican vote in the Senate… You can’t say it’s in the bill, read it, ’cause there is no bill.”
Also, Pelosi said “we read the bill.”
Politifact wrote on Pelosi’s statement, and interpretations of it, here. Problem is, while Pelosi told the Chronicle that there was no bill yet on March 9, 2010, that’s not quite accurate. Congress had not enacted a final measure, although later that month it would do so and Obama would sign the bill. But the House and Senate passed versions of Obamacare in 2009.
This is a great example of Pelosi’s insider-speak and her insistence of arguing a dubious technicality — yes, there was no final bill – making her both unintelligible and open to parody.
At the board meeting, Pelosi also quoted Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s inaccurate statement and story about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying “on the first” day of session that his top goal was to defeat President Obama. As I wrote here, day wrong, year wrong, venue wrong, context completely missing.
Pelosi may hate to use the word lie, but whether she knows it or not, she also seems to hate relating accurate versions of events.”