Pelosi appears on 'Colbert Report' to promote campaign finance reform

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" Wednesday to promote new campaign finance legislation.

Pelosi, who had previously pledged not to appear on the show and had encouraged her colleagues to follow her lead, joked with host Stephen Colbert that her decision was "part of my Lent resolution — to do good works, and be kind to Republicans."


Colbert has used his show to criticize the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, which protected independent spending for political purposes under the First Amendment and opened the door to super-PACs.

The comedian has established his own super-PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, which he has promoted on his show to spoof campaign finance laws.

On the show, Pelosi made the case for new legislation that would require greater disclosure from donors, whom she said were shielded by current laws.

"If we want to cancel elections and just have the wealthiest people in America, and you know what their names are, give millions and tens of millions, we can just ask them who do they want to be president, who do they want to run Congress, who do they want to be governor," Pelosi said attacking current campaign finance laws.

"That would be polite," Colbert jokingly responded.

"That would be a plutocracy," Pelosi said. "We are a democracy and our founders intended that the people would decide."

Pelosi touted the Democrats' Disclose Act proposal, which they have sought to reintroduce in the House, by explaining its effect on Colbert's own super-PAC.

"This would be really good for you because your Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow could become 'Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Today'" she said. 

"First we want to disclose, the people have a right to know whose money is coming in there instead of the bankroll of a few determining the voice of the people," Pelosi said. "Disclose. Stand by your ad. Win the election, reform the system, overturn the Supreme Court decision by amending the Constitution, and give the voice and the vote and the power to the people."

Colbert also asked Pelosi about the controversy over the Obama administration's recent birth-control mandate.

Republicans have painted the decision as an attack on religious liberty, while Democrats have called it a health and women's rights issue.

Last week Democrats lambasted a House Oversight Committee hearing where religious leaders testified against the mandate, attacking a lack of women witnesses on panels they said were discussing a women's health issue.

"It's a bunch of guys up there," Colbert said of the hearing. 

"Five guys ... it might be alright for hamburgers but not for this," said Pelosi in reference to the restaurant chain.