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Nancy Pelosi on her own glass ceiling and Hillary Clinton’s

Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Cali., broke her own glass ceiling when she was elected the first Speaker of the House. Today, she stands with Hillary Clinton as she campaigns to become the first woman commander-in-chief. Pelosi speaks with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff about party unity, women in politics and the fight ahead.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Our next guest shattered her own glass ceiling in 2007, when she was elected the first woman speaker of the House of Representatives.

    Now Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joins us now.

    Welcome.

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI, Minority Leader:

    Pleasure.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    It's so good to see you here, but I'm wondering, as you watch this roll call play out, where the Bernie Sanders supporters are still getting their final cry in, whether you think that you're signaling unity with this.

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    We're signaling strength.

    As we disagree with each other, we learn more about each other, and more and more people are coming together. Some may never get there. They just may not get there. But, largely, this convention is coming together. Everybody understands that, whatever our differences, they're vastly small compared to the vast difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, between Hillary Clinton and the Republican nominee.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    I'm curious about your own delegation, Madam Leader.

    California, 300-some delegates for Hillary Clinton, but over 200 delegates for Bernie Sanders, how is the California — they're the best, the biggest, most populous state in the country. How are they coming together?

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    They will come together. We will have the biggest vote in the country, of course, for Hillary Clinton. Our Governor Brown just said that he thinks we can win by 20 points for Hillary Clinton in California. We will see. But it's going to be big.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    So, Donald Trump is, what, making things up when he says he's going to compete in California?

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    Let him think that.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • GWEN IFILL:

    OK, let me ask you, how you do win? What is key going forward, leaving Philadelphia, for your nominee?

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    Well, what is key for winning the election is to be able to put forth a vision for our future and how this election affects people's lives.

    We're about rejecting trickle-down economics, instead an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. In terms of winning the election, it's all about turnout and how we connect with the voter as to what it means in their lives to turn out to vote, to win the House, the Senate, statehouses, state governorships and the rest.

    So, turnout is everything. And turnout really runs on the fuel of inspiration. So, I believe Hillary Clinton's vision, based on her experience, based on her knowledge and judgment, as well as her connection with the American people, after a lifetime of service and leadership for America's families and children.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    I don't think anyone is closer to the voters in Washington than members of the House of Representatives.

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    That's right.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    You know that place very well. Right now, Donald Trump is doing much better than Hillary Clinton among white men, and particularly white men who have not attended college. How does Hillary Clinton counter that?

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    With an economic agenda to create jobs, good-paying jobs, increasing paychecks.

    The economic agenda is what is really — it's about the economy. You know that statement. It's not a cliche. It's a fact. And I think that, so many times, white — non-college-education — educated white males have voted Republican. They voted against their own economic interests because of guns, because of gays, and because of God, the three G's, God being the woman's right to choose.

    That is softening. Some of those people were never going to be voting Democratic anyway. But I believe that, with the turnout that we expect to have, we will draw some of them in with our message, and enough other people to win the election.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Leader Pelosi, how do you compare what we're going to be seeing here tonight with the nomination of Hillary Clinton to Geraldine Ferraro in 1984? You were there. You saw that glass ceiling break.

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    1984, I was chair of the host committee at the San Francisco convention.

    And I can tell you — I can just drum it up immediately — the thunderous response that that convention had to her nomination. Mind you, the convention was very split between Mondale and Gary Hart. So it had a similar feeling to this. But, nonetheless, in the nomination of the first woman as vice president of a major party, it was thunderous.

    And that's what will happen with Hillary Clinton, even beyond, because she's going to be nominated for president, the most powerful person in the world. It's very exciting.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    And it will be historic, as we have been saying. But should it be a factor in how people vote, the fact that she would be the first woman president, the fact that she is a woman?

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    I don't think — I think that people want to know what the election of a particular person means in their lives. What is your vision? What is your plan to get something done that affects me?

    And I have always said, in my own rise in the leadership, please don't ever ask anybody to vote for me because I'm a woman. That happens to be, in my view, an enhancement, but, nonetheless, it's all about who is the best person for the job. Hillary Clinton is the best person for the job.

    She will go into the Oval Office before prepared even than President Obama. He has said that himself. Better prepared than President Bush, George W. Bush. Better prepared than her own husband. Again, she has a vision, she has knowledge and judgment. She is a strategic thinker, based on her experience and her connection.

    I know something about power, being the first woman speaker of the House. Actually, the legislative branch is the first article of the Constitution, and so president, vice president, speaker of the House, third highest. And, for me, it's particularly almost emotional to think that she will have that much power to help develop a consensus in our country and be the leader of the free world.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Power is the word.

    Nancy Pelosi, minority leader of the House of Representatives, thank you so much for joining us.

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    My pleasure. Thank you.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Who has already made history herself by being the first woman in that position. Thank you.

  • REP. NANCY PELOSI:

    But I'm happy to relinquish the title of the highest elected woman in the history of our country. Thank you.

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