Pelosi: ‘It’s hard’ to say 'President Trump'

Pelosi: ‘It’s hard’ to say 'President Trump'
© Greg Nash

Nearly five months after the inauguration, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that it’s still hard for her to say the words “President Trump.”

At one point during a discussion hosted by the Commonwealth Club, Pelosi referenced “the new president of the United States.” 

“I noticed you don’t say President Trump,” observed moderator Scott Shafer, a senior editor for San Francisco NPR affiliate KQED.

“It’s hard,” Pelosi acknowledged to laughter.


Pelosi, like many other Democrats, had expected their party’s nominee, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats ask judge for quick ruling on McGahn subpoena Hillary Clinton: 'Every day Stephen Miller remains in the White House is an emergency' The Memo: Centrists change tone of Democratic race MORE, to win the presidential election over Trump in November. For Pelosi, who was the first female Speaker of the House, the loss still stings.

“I’m the highest ranking woman politically in our country,” Pelosi said. “One of the things that I was looking forward to [on] Election Day was when finally there would be a woman who would be the highest ranking woman practically in the world as president of the United States.”

When Clinton lost, Pelosi said, “it was a blow, I mean, for the country.”

“And so it’s hard because I don’t know, from what I’ve seen, I don’t know how much respect he has for the job.”

Pelosi doesn’t avoid saying “President Trump” altogether. She’s repeatedly referred to him as such in various public appearances since Trump took office in January, even doing so about 20 minutes later in Tuesday’s Commonwealth Club discussion.

Shafer asked her who she would prefer: President Trump or President Pence?

Pelosi demurred, saying “that’s really up to the Republicans.” But then she paused for a few seconds before adding with a laugh, “I’d rather have President Bush.”

She concluded her answer by staying on message for Democrats hoping to capitalize in the historic trend of the president’s party losing House seats in midterm elections.

“What I’d like to see is a Democratic Congress in 2018 to be part of the checks and balances that our founders fought for in the Constitution of the United States,” Pelosi said.